Justice Sheel Nagu sworn in as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court : The Tribune India

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Justice Sheel Nagu sworn in as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court

Justice Sheel Nagu sworn in as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court

Justice Sheel Nagu with his family after assuming charge as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh on Tuesday. tribune photo: Ravi Kumar



Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, July 9

Justice Sheel Nagu was today sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court by Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit at Raj Bhawan, filling the post lying vacant for over eight months since the retirement of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha in October last year.

HC short of 30 judges

  • The appointment of Justice Sheel Nagu comes at a time when the high court is grappling with a shortage of 30 judges and a backlog of over 4,36,351 cases. The high court currently has 55 judges against the sanctioned strength of 85
  • This situation is expected to exacerbate with the impending retirement of three judges this year and three more next year upon attaining superannuation
  • As many as 15 judges are in the zone of consideration for elevation from the category of district and sessions judges. But their names could not be considered and recommended in the absence of a regular Chief Justice

The appointment follows the recommendation of Justice Nagu’s name by the Supreme Court collegium in December last year, with formal appointment by the President earlier this month.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by distinguished guests, including Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini, and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann. Following the ceremony, a simple yet impressive “high tea” was hosted at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, attended by sitting judges and Chief Justice Nagu’s family.

Chief Justice Nagu was serving as the Acting Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court since May 24. Prior to his judicial appointment in May 2011, he had a successful career practising constitutional, service, labour, and criminal law.

The Supreme Court collegium, while recommending his name, had observed: “As regards his contribution to the judiciary by way of disposal of cases, during his tenure of over 12 years as a Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, he has authored more than 499 reported judgments. He has acquired extensive experience in dispensing justice at the High Court… He is considered to be a competent judge and possesses a high level of integrity and conduct required of a person holding high judicial officer”.

The appointment comes at a time when the high court is grappling with a shortage of 30 judges and a backlog of over 4,36,351 cases. The high court currently has 55 judges against the sanctioned strength of 85. This situation is expected to exacerbate with the impending retirement of three judges this year and three more next year upon attaining superannuation.

As many as 15 judges are in the zone of consideration for elevation from the category of district and sessions judges. But their names could not be considered and recommended in the absence of a regular Chief Justice.

The names of advocates were last recommended for elevation more a year back by the high court collegium. Available information suggests that the judges have not been appointed in the high court since November last year.

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#Banwarilal Purohit


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