Five new judges are expected to be inducted into the Jammu and Kashmir High Court by the end of this month.
According to informed sources in the top rungs of the judiciary and the bureaucracy, the decks have been cleared for the induction of three lawyers and two judges of the rank of Principal District and Sessions Judge as the judges.
Warrants of appointment in favour of two candidates from the judiciary — Janak Raj Kotwal and B.L. Bhat — and three aspirants from the Bar — Ali Mohammad Magray, Dheeraj Singh Thakur and Tashi Robertson — are expected to be issued in a week’s time.
The sources told The Hindu that the Supreme Court of India collegium, the Prime Minister’s Office as well as the President of India have cleared the names of the five recommended by the J&K High Court collegium, the Chief Minister and the Governor in March 2012. The name of an advocate, Azharul Amin, fell out of consideration on the basis of a complaint against him, even as it had been cleared and recommended for the appointment at several levels including the PMO.
It was not clear what precisely led to Mr. Amin’s disqualification but sources insisted that the contents of the complaint, got investigated by the Intelligence Bureau, were believed to have spoiled the lawyer’s prospects. “So many people and colleagues called me and said that my name had been dropped for my association with the Bar Association,” Mr. Amin said. “But, I don’t think it could be the reason. If that’s the reason for disqualification, nobody from Kashmir is eligible to become a High Court judge.”
Mr. Amin confirmed that nearly 20 years back, he had held a position [Secretary] in the High Court Bar Association.The HCBA is the representative union of all the non-government legal practitioners and it has been publicly espousing the cause of J&K State’s separation from India.