The names of two district and sessions judges from Haryana and one from Punjab are being considered for elevation as additional judges of the Punjab and Haryana high court.
These are Raj Rahul Garg and Manjit Singh of the Haryana superior judicial service and Gurmit Ram of the Punjab superior judicial service.
Garg is presently on deputation as legal remembrancer and administrative secretary to the Haryana government, law and legislative department. Manjit Singh is the district and sessions judge at Karnal, while Gurmit Ram is the district and sessions judge at Kapurthala. The high court had recently forwarded these names to the Supreme Court for consideration.
As of now, there are 48 judges in the high court against the sanctioned strength of 68. 60% vacancies of high court judges are filled by considering practising advocates and 40% on promotion basis among district judges of Punjab and Haryana.
As per the union home ministry sources, the ministry has now sought intelligence inputs about the antecedents of these three judges before the final decision on their names by the Supreme Court collegium.
The home ministry has requested the intelligence bureau to verify "anything adverse" against the judges under consideration as well as the inputs about the "assets acquired" by them in their own or family members' names in the past five years.
It is learnt that though Ramendra Jain is the seniormost among district and sessions judges in Haryana and presently posted at Palwal, his name has not been considered for elevation as an additional judge of the high court. Raj Rahul Garg is at the second spot and Manjit Singh is third on the seniority list.
Virender Kumar, the seniormost district and sessions judge in Punjab and presently posted as presiding officer of the industrial tribunal at Ludhiana, has not been considered for elevation. Gurmit Ram is number two on the seniority list.
Garg was posted on deputation in the Haryana government in April last year. Manjit Singh had filled her vacancy as the district and sessions judge at Karnal in the same month. Gurmit Ram was appointed district and sessions judge, Kapurthala, in April 2012.