More than three years after recommendations of the J&K High Court, the Apex Court collegium has for the second time given its approval for the appointment of senior Advocate Wasim Nargal as Judge of the common High Court of Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Besides, the SC collegium also cleared the name of senior advocate Rahul Bharti for appointment as High Court Judge, whose name was recommended two years back.
Reliable sources said, “the recommendations of the Apex Court collegium are binding on the Government, if the collegium gives it approval for the same second time and therefore Union Law Ministry will have give its assent in case of Nargal”.
Ironically, the name of former Senior Advocate General, Wasim Nargal had been recommended by the J&K High Court Collegium in April, 2018 for appointment as High Court Judge. However, the then Union Law Ministry had returned the file of Nargal to the collegium without providing any specific information as to why it wants the collegium to reconsider its April 2018 decision recommending Nargal’s elevation.
However, in July 2019 the then CJI, Justice Gogoi had also sought the response of the Government on 10 more cases, including that of Nargal, which the collegium had deferred earlier but was not in a position to take up the same for consideration as certain information was still awaited from the Government.
“Since the Apex Court collegium has recommended his case for the second time now, it will be binding on the Government”, sources asserted adding, “the Apex Court website doesn’t make any mention about the resolution pertaining to appointment of Nargal as the resolution had already been passed almost two years back”.
Regarding the appointment of advocate Rahul Bharti, a statement uploaded on the Apex Court website says, “the Collegium headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde in a meeting held on March 2, 2021 had approved the proposal for elevation of Advocate Rahul Bharti as Judge”.
It is pertinent to mention here that in the month of March 2019, the State High Court Collegium had recommended Rahul Bharti for the appointment as Judge of the Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources also pointed out, “the file pertaining to recommendations by J&K High Court collegium for elevation of two Judicial Officers, which was sent in December last year is also still lying with the Union Law Ministry and their appointment will still take some time”.
In December, last year the collegium had recommended two senior-most Judicial Officers — – Mohan Lal Manhas and Mohammad Akram Chowdhary for elevation as High Court Judges.
While Mohan Lal Manhas is presently posted as District and Sessions Judge, Udhampur; Mohammad Akram Chowdhary is posted as District and Sessions Judge Samba.
Advocate Wasim Sadiq Nargal had served as Senior Additional Advocate General and Additional Advocate General (Home Department), Information Department and Cable Car Corporation and has been dealing with all types of cases including service matter, other write petitions, criminal cases and arbitration matters.
Nargal had also worked as Standing Counsel for Jammu University, SKAUST-J, Institute of Management, Public Administration and Rural Development, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University and earlier with several Government Departments.
Advocate Rahul Bharti, who joined Bar in February 1991, has now standing of more than 28 years at the Bar and has been conducting cases on original, civil as well as criminal side, and also on the appellate and writ jurisdiction side. He had conducted and handled litigation of varied nature such as Industrial, Labour, Consumer, Cooperative, Revenue, Motor Accidents Claims, Banking, Taxation (excluding Income Tax), Arbitration & Service matters. He was designated as Senior Advocate of J&K High Court on December 15, 2020.