Srinagar: Justice Virender Singh, the senior most judge of J&K High Court, will be administered oath as Chief Justice of Jharkhand by the state’s Governor Syed Ahmad on November 1, sources said Friday.
President of India Pranab Mukherjee has already appointed Justice Singh as the Chief Justice with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.
Justice Singh, who functioned as the Acting Chief Justice of the J&K High Court from April 2 to June 8, 2012, will succeed Chief Justice R. Banumathi, who has been elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court.
Justice Singh was born on October 7, 1954 and graduated from Government College, Rohtak.
He completed his law degree from JV Jain College, Saharanpur and joined the legal profession in June, 1978. He practised mostly on Criminal side apart from dealing with cases under the Motor Vehicles Act and Hindu Marriage Act.
He served as Deputy Advocate General of Haryana twice between May 1995 to January 1999 before elevated as judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court on July 2, 2002. He joined the J&K High Court on April 19 2004.
With Justice Singh moving to Ranchi, the bench strength of J&K High Court would be reduced to nine including the Chief Justice.
Out of the sanctioned strength of 14 judges, the High Court currently has ten incumbents including Justice Singh. Five of the present judges were appointed in March last year, taking the bench strength to 12 judges against the sanctioned strength of nine permanent and five Additional Judges.
However, over the time, the bench strength of the High Court has reduced to 10 against the sanctioned strength as on April 5 last, Justice Jai Pal Singh attained superannuation while Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir was appointment Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh.
Earlier this year, court collegium comprising Chief Justice M M Kumar, Justice Virender Singh and Justice Yaqoob Mir had recommended names of Neeru Goswami (Deputy Advocate General), Advocate Sanjeev Shukla, from Jammu as judges of the court.
From Kashmir, senior Additional Advocate General J A Kawoosa and N A Beigh have been recommended for the appointment as the judge of the state’s highest court.
In the ratio of 60:40, the state can have nine High Court judges from Bar and five from the Service quota. As per the convention, the present recommendations have been made from bar quota, the source said. Ten years continuous practice is the basic eligibility criterion for the Bar quota.