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Last Updated : Oct 01, 2019 01:57 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Flooded with habeas corpus pleas, J&K High Court seeks appointment of more judges

Out of the nine judges in the High Court, only two judges have been assigned to hear habeas corpus writs in the Srinagar wing

Representative image
Representative image

The two wings of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court have been overburdened with litigation, amid a flood of over 250 writs of habeas corpus seeking quashing of preventive detention.

This comes within two months of the Centre’s move to revoke provisions of Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories (UTs). Many people had been put under preventive detention and house arrest, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

The J&K High Court has just nine judges even though its sanctioned strength is of 17 judges.

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Habeas corpus refers to a writ requiring a person, who is under arrest, to be presented a judge, especially to secure the person's release unless grounds for his or her detention are proven.

According to a report by The Indian Express, the Chief Justice of the J&K High Court, Gita Mittal, had forwarded seven names to the Governor and the Supreme Court of India (SC)’s Collegium to fill these vacancies on two separate occasions this year. However, none of those appointments have been made so far.

Out of the nine judges in the High Court, only two judges have been assigned to hear habeas corpus writs in the Srinagar wing, the report suggests. Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

As per the procedure, Supreme Court Collegium takes the final call on recommending names to the President. The President appoints the judges.

In September, terming locals' allegations that they were finding it difficult to approach the J&K High Court as "very very serious", Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi had said that he would visit Srinagar himself, if required. J&K High Court has two wings – Jammu and Srinagar.

"You are saying that you cannot go to the high court. We have called a report from Chief Justice of the high court. If required, I will myself go there," the CJI said, while requesting the Chief Justice of the High Court to file report.

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First Published on Oct 1, 2019 01:57 pm
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