Justice Sheel Nagu takes oath as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court : The Tribune India

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Justice Sheel Nagu takes oath as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court

The appointment comes at a time when the high court is grappling with a shortage of 31 judges and a backlog of over 436,351 cases

Justice Sheel Nagu takes oath as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court

Justice Nagu was earlier serving as an Acting Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, July 8

Justice Sheel Nagu was on Tuesday sworn-in as the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court by Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit at Punjab Raj Bhawan

Justice Nagu was earlier serving as an Acting Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court since May 24.

He was appointed as a judge there in May 2011, after practising on Constitutional, service, labour and criminal sides.

Justice Sheel Nagu assumes charge as the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, in Chandigarh, on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Ravi Kumar

The Supreme Court collegium, while recommending his name on December 27 last year, 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 31 judges and a backlog of over 436,351 cases.

Justice Sheel Nagu at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in Chandigarh, on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Ravi Kumar

The high court currently has 54 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 since the office fell vacant in October last year with the retirement of Justice Ravi Shankar Jha.

The names of advocates were last recommended for elevation more a year back by the high court collegium, headed by the then chief justice and two senior-most judges.

Available information suggests judges have not been appointed in the high court since November last year as the collegium did not meet subsequent to Justice Jha’s retirement.

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