Punjab couple among 6 judicial officers appointed HC judges
Chandigarh The Centre on Tuesday notified the appointment of six judicial officers, including a couple from Punjab, as additional judges of the Punjab and Haryana high court. The appointees are district and sessions judge, Amritsar, Karamjit Singh; district and sessions judge, Mohali, Vivek Puri and his wife, Archana Puri. Archana is presiding officer, state transport appellate tribunal, Punjab. The three from Haryana are district and sessions judge, Palwal, Ashok Kumar Verma; district and sessions judge, Kurukshetra, Sant Prakash and Meenakashi I Mehta, who is Legal Remembrancer, Haryana.
Vivek, born in January 1962, would be senior to Archana, born in December 1964, in the order of seniority. Both had joined Punjab judicial services in February 1991, the same day and got promoted to Punjab Superior Judicial Service in June 2001. Officials privy to the development said that it would be probably the first time that a husband and wife would take oath as high court judges. In the past, there have been instances of siblings and couples serving as judges at the same time, but elevation in those cases was on different dates, an official said.
The Supreme Court collegium had recommended their names in September this year after the high court sent in their names for elevation in March 2019. The high court collegium had recommended the names of seven judicial officers. However, the SC Collegium remitted back the recommendation of Legal Remembrancer, Punjab, Satish Kumar Aggarwal, to the high court.
With these appointments, the number of judges at the high court would rise to 56, against the current strength of 50. The number would be highest since 2015, when controversy first arose over the national judicial appointments commission.