Chandigarh, August 16
Eleven advocates of the Punjab and Haryana High Court were today sworn in as judges by Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha. The number of judges with their elevation has gone up to 57 against the sanctioned strength of 85.
But the crisis in the Punjab and Haryana High Court continues as 13 of its judges are retiring in the next two years, including two this year. High Court collegium, comprising the Chief Justice and two senior-most judges, has recommended the names of nine judicial officers for elevation as the HC judges after a gap of more three years, but it is still in the pipeline
While five judicial officers are from Punjab, the others are from Haryana.
Available information suggests the collegium, prior to this, had recommended the names of judicial officers for elevation as High Court judges on March 14, 2019. As many as seven judicial officers were recommended for elevation by the then Chief Justice in consultation with his two senior-most colleagues.
The judges who were sworn in this morning are Justice Nidhi Gupta, Justice Sanjay Vashisth, Justice Tribhuvan Dahiya, Justice Namit Kumar, Justice Harkesh Manuja, Justice Aman Chaudhary, Justice NS Shekhawat, Justice Harsh Bunger, Justice Jagmohan Bansal, Justice Deepak Manchanda and Justice Alok Jain.
This is, perhaps, the second time in recallable past that so many judges have been administered oath in one go. In 2006, 13 judges were sworn in oath within a gap of few days. As of now, the HC has a total pendency of 4,47,018.
The cases include 1,65,580 criminal matters involving life and liberty. As many 81,038 or 18.13% cases are pending up to one year; 81,680 or 18.27% between one and three years and 1,00,977 or 22.59% between five and 10 years.
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