Supreme Court Collegium has recommended to Government the elevation of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey as Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
Reliable official sources told Daily Excelsior, “SC Collegium comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and four senior-most Judges -Justices D Y Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Abdul Nazeer and K M Joseph in its meeting today passed the resolution recommending the elevation of Justice Magrey and also transferred the present Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal to Rajasthan High Court.”
Further, the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the transfer of Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, Justice S. Muralidhar, as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court. The post of Chief Justice of Madras High Court fell vacant with the retirement of the previous CJ Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari on 12 September.
Source elaborated, “it is also for the first time that the Supreme Court Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, is accessing records of past judicial performances to make recommendations for appointment of Judges to the Apex Court.”
In its meeting held on 26 September, the five-member Collegium recommended the appointment of Justice Dipankar Datta, Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, as Judge of the Supreme Court. This is the first recommendation to the Apex Court made by the Collegium led by CJI since he took charge on 27 August 2022.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey was appointed as Permanent Judge of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir vide notification No. K.13021/01/2012-US.II dated 7th March 2013 and took an oath of office on 8th March 2013.
Earlier, he enrolled as an Advocate in the year 1984 and started practicing law in the District Courts, including Revenue Courts/Tribunals and simultaneously started conducting matters in the High Court. He served as Standing Counsel from 1986 onwards for the State Financial Corporation; Jammu & Kashmir Bank and SIDCO; Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences; Power Development Department; Service Selection Board and Jammu & Kashmir Wakf Board.
He was appointed as Additional Advocate General in February 2003 with allocation of General Administration Department, Health and Medical Education Department, Service Selection Board, State Public Service Commission, Estates Department, SKIMS and Vigilance Department and was appointed as Senior Additional Advocate General in September 2009 with additional charge of Home Department.
He appeared and conducted important criminal, Division Bench and Full Bench matters involving important questions of law, on behalf of the State in the High Court as also in numerous appeals in the Supreme Court of India. He had also appeared and conducted important Public Interest Litigation matters, constitutional matters, service matters, tax matters, civil matters involving high stakes and important issues, arbitration matters and appeared in Commissions of inquiry also on behalf of erstwhile State of J-K etc, reads the report.
It is pertinent to mention here that Justice Pankaj Mithal had been appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on 31 December 2020.
Justice Pankaj Mithal enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh in 1985 and practiced before the Allahabad High Court until 2006 when he was elevated as an Additional Judge of that High Court. He became a Permanent Judge in 2008.
“With elevation of Justice Magrey to the post of Chief Justice and transfer of Justice Pankaj Mithal, there will be one vacancy in the High Court of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladak,” source confirmed, as per the report.