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Posted at: Feb 4, 2017, 12:52 AM; last updated: Feb 4, 2017, 12:52 AM (IST)

Collegium drops Chief Justice Mir, J&K legal fraternity fumes

About Chief Justice Mansoor Mir

  • Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir is serving as the Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court
  • Chief Justice Mir’s promotion as a Supreme Court judge was due in January 2016 and he was the fourth in the seniority list to be appointed as SC judge
  • He took over as Acting Chief Justice of HP High Court on November 26, 2013, and remained on the position up to June 18, 2014, when he was appointed as the Chief Justice
  • Former Chief Justice TS Thakur had recently hailed Chief Justice Mir for bringing down the pendency of cases in Himachal Pradesh by 50 per cent

Samaan Lateef

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 3

The legal fraternity in Jammu and Kashmir is aghast after Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir did not find place in the recommendation list of judges to be appointed as Supreme Court judges.

Chief Justice Mir, a resident of J&K, is serving as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court at present and has been reportedly superseded by Justice S Abdul Nazeer of Karnataka High Court.

“It is unfortunate that a person having the longest stay as Chief Justice has been dropped for the post of Supreme Court judge. Chief Justice Mir deserves the selection and collegium should have considered giving representation to Jammu and Kashmir in the Supreme Court,” former Advocate General Ishaq Qadri told The Tribune.

Chief Justice Mir, whose promotion as Supreme Court judge was due in January 2016, was fourth in the seniority list to be appointed as Supreme Court judge, sources said.

After a nine-month-long delay in the appointment of judges to the highest court, the collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, has recommended the names of four high court chief justices and a high court judge to the Centre for appointment to the Supreme Court.

The names recommended are those of Madras HC Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Rajasthan HC Chief Justice Naveen Sinha, Kerala High Court Chief Justice Mohan M Shantanagouder, Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice Dipak Gupta, and Karnataka High Court judge Justice S Abdul Nazeer.

“I am disappointed that the collegium has not considered his (Mir’s) elevation as Supreme Court judge. Being eligible and a judge of integrity, he should not have been ignored. I am still hopeful that the collegium will give a second thought to it and consider his appointment,” said senior counsel BS Slathia.

Senior counsel Syed Reyaz Hussain said he had the apprehension that Chief Justice Mir would be dropped despite having the highest qualification. “Till date, no one from Kashmir has been appointed as an SC judge. Collegium had got an opportunity to appoint a judge from Kashmir but it seems the Kashmir identity became a reason for him to be denied the post of Supreme Court judge,” Hussain rued.

The recommendation of the collegium had shaken the confidence of people and would create alienation within the Kashmiri people, Hussain added.

Chief Justice Mir was born on April 25, 1955, at Rajpora village of Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir. He obtained a bachelors degree (BA) from Amar Singh College in 1976 and LLB in 1978 from Kashmir University. After practicing law for 14 years, he appeared for Jammu and kashmir Judicial Services Examination and secured the first position in 1992.

He was appointed as Additional Judge of the J&K High Court on January 31, 2005, and later its permanent judge on July 7, 2007. He was transferred to the High Court of Himachal Pradesh (HP) and took over as Acting Chief Justice on November 26, 2013, and remained on the position up to June 18, 2014, when he was appointed as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh.

Chief Justice Mir has delivered landmark judgments in Jammu and Kashmir and has decided over 60,000 cases till date. Former Chief Justice TS Thakur had recently hailed Chief Justice Mir for bringing down the pendency of cases in Himachal Pradesh by 50 per cent.

Chief Justice Mir will superannuate on April 25.

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