SC recommends 6 judicial officers as Punjab and Haryana HC judges
The Supreme Court collegium has recommended elevation of six judicial officers, including a Punjab couple, as judges of the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Those from Punjab are district and sessions judge, Amritsar, Karamjit Singh; district and sessions judge, Mohali, Vivek Puri and his wife, Archana Puri, who is Punjab transport appellate tribunal’s presiding officer.
Remaining three are from Haryana — district and sessions judge, Palwal, Ashok Kumar Verma; district and sessions judge, Kurukshetra, Sant Prakash and Meenakashi I Mehta, who is Haryana legal remembrancer.
The Punjab and Haryana high court collegium had in March recommended their elevation. Governments of both the states too had concurred the recommendations, as per SC collegium proceedings. In all, seven judicial officers were recommended in March by the high court (HC) collegium.
However, recommendation of legal remembrancer, Punjab, Satish Kumar Aggarwal has been remitted back to the HC by the collegium.
It has been learnt that the name of Neelima Shangla, who is at number 1 on the seniority list of Haryana judicial officers, was not recommended by the HC. The SC collegium proceedings do not name the officer, but refer to a senior judicial officer whose name has not been recommended by the HC collegium.
“We are in agreement with the justification given by the HC collegium,” the SC collegium minutes of meeting say, referring to non-recommendation of a senior judicial officer.
If cleared by the government, the number of judges with this would go up to 53. In July, the SC collegium had recommended names of five lawyers too as judges. However, government nod is awaited for that. The current strength of judges at the Punjab and Haryana high court is 47.