Collegium nod to elevate six lawyers as judges

In a significant development the Supreme Court Collegium has cleared the names of six lawyers of Punjab and Haryana High Court for elevation to the Bench.

The six lawyers to be elevated are RN Raina, NK Sanghi, Rameshwar Malik, T S Dhindsa, P S Dhaliwal and Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia.

The Indian Express was the first to report in November last year that the then Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal had recommended the names for elevation.

A Collegium headed by Justice Mudgal cleared the names two days ago. Now a file containing the names of the six lawyers will be forwarded to the prime minister's office. As per the available information, the six will be administered oath within a month.

Other than civil and criminal practice, Raina has assisted various Benches of the High Court as an amicus curiae.

While N K Sanghi is a law officer, Additional Advocate General (Punjab), Rameshwar Malik is law officer, Additional Advocate General (Haryana). Both Sanghi and Malik have represented their states in important cases. Sanghi is at present handling the petition filed by Captain Amarinder Singh, former Chief Minister of Punjab, wherein he has sought quashing of an FIR of Amritsar Improvement Trust registered against him. On the other hand, Malik has represented Haryana before the division bench of the Chief Justice in significant cases including those of Khap Panchayats and runaway marriages.

Advocate Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia, son of Justice S S Sandhawalia, has his expertise in civil law. Advocates Dhindsa and Dhaliwal have also civil law as their core area.

At present the total strength of judges in the High Court is 43. With six more elevated to the Bench, the strength will touch 49. Also, names of three more lawyers are in consideration for elevation.

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