Punjab and Haryana High Court: Bar Association writes to CJ on filling Judges' vacancies : The Tribune India

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Punjab and Haryana High Court: Bar Association writes to CJ on filling Judges' vacancies

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Bar Association writes to CJ on filling Judges' vacancies

Photo for representational purpose only.



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 9

Just about a fortnight after it was reported in these columns that the crisis in the Punjab and Haryana High Court had depended with some cases not coming up for hearing for years together and impending retirement of Judges, the Bar Association has sought filling of the vacancies. It has also requested that no advocate with less than 15 years of continuous regular practice before the Punjab and Haryana High Court should be considered for elevation.

The communication to the Chief Justice (CJ) in this regard came after the Executive Committee of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association met and discussed the issue regarding the filling of vacancies.

“The issue has been highlighted in newspapers as well, time and again, especially in view of the fact that a large number of Judges are retiring in the current year as well as the next year. As it is, there is a sanctioned strength of 85 Judges in this High Court. Of this, almost 40 per cent are vacant.

The problem has been aggravated by the fact that 16 of its Judges are retiring in the next two years, including five this year. The High Court collegium last met almost three years ago for recommending the names of sessions Judges for elevation and nearly one and a half years ago for advocates. Even if the names are finalised now for elevation, it will take a long time for the completion of process. A testimony to this effect is provided by the fact that five advocates recommended for elevation in August 2020 were administered oath as High Court Judges only in October last year. The High Court has 49 Judges against the sanctioned strength of 85.

The enormity of the predicament faced by the litigants can be gauged from the fact that the High Court on December 10, 2020 put the State of Haryana on notice on a petition alleging the posting of non-State Civil Service Officers on the post meant for HCS (Executive Branch) officers. The petition filed by the Haryana Civil Service (Executive Branch) Officers Association was heard again on January 22, 2021, and has not been heard since then. It is slated to come up for hearing on September 15. Another petition against the PPSC is slated to be heard on the same date.

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