Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 16
In an unprecedented move apparently aimed at cleansing the subordinate judiciary, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has started proceedings against its judicial officers.
Its Full Court, comprising the Chief Justice and the other judges, has compulsorily retired two additional district and sessions judges.
In all, action has been taken or proceedings started against 16 officers, including the judge who conducted trial in the gang-rape and murder case of an eight-year-old from Kathua.
Two judicial officers on probation have been discharged. The services of two sub-judges have also been placed under suspension. Besides this, the functioning of two district and sessions judges has come under the HC scanner with the ordering of regular inquiries against them.
This is the first time in recallable past that the HC has taken action at such a large scale against its judicial officers, sending across a strong message of zero tolerance against indiscipline, complacency and other factors in the subordinate judiciary.
The Full Court meeting, first since the HC went into restrictive functioning mode in March due to Covid outbreak, is believed to have been held on December 14 under Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha.
Available information suggests the officers compulsorily retired are Additional District and Sessions Judge Ved Pal Gupta and Rajinder Goel. The Punjab-cadre officers discharged during probation are Abhinav Sekhon and Nazmeen Singh.
The sub-judges whose services have been placed under suspension are Tanvir Singh and Pradeep Singhal. The sessions judges against whom regular inquiry has been ordered are Haryana-cadre judicial officer RK Sondhi and Punjab-cadre officer Tejwinder Singh. A preliminary inquiry is believed to have been earlier ordered by the HC against Kathua case Judge Tejwinder Singh.
Clean-up by Punjab and Haryana High Court
- Addl Dist & Sessions Judges VP Gupta & Rajinder Goel forced retired
- Probationers Abhinav Sekhon, Nazmeen Singh discharged
- Sub-Judges Tanvir Singh and Pradeep Singhal suspended
- Action/proceedings initiated against 16 judicial officers in all