Srinagar: Flooded with over 250 writ petitions of habeas corpus seeking quashing of preventive detention and the state just a month away from being split into two Union Territories, the two wings of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K’s) High Court are overburdened with litigation and functioning with just nine judges against a sanctioned strength of 17 judges.
And out of these nine judges, only two have been assigned to hear the writs of habeas corpus in the Srinagar wing. The Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court Gita Mittal has forwarded seven names to the Supreme Court Collegiums to fill the vacancies on two separate occasions this year but not a single appointment has been made so far.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court has sought reports from Justice Mittal hearing on petitions related to the access to justice in the High Court in the Valley. CJI Ranjan Gogoi last month said that he would personally visit the high court.
As per procedure, the proposal for appointment of a judge of a High Court is initiated by the Chief Justice of a High Court, and the copy of the Chief Justice’ proposal is sent to the Governor and also endorsed by the Chief Justice of India and Union Minister of Law and Justice.