J&K High Court to get first woman Chief Justice

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Supreme Court Collegium has recommended Justice Gita Mittal, Acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, as new Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court. She would be the first woman Chief Justice as well as Judge of the State High Court.
“Office of the Chief Justice of J&K High Court has been lying vacant consequent upon retirement of Justice B D Ahmed on March 15, 2018. Therefore, appointment to that office is required to be made”, read the resolution of the Supreme Court Collegium comprising of Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Madan B Lokur.
Justice Gita Mittal is senior-most Judge from Delhi High Court and has been functioning as Acting Chief Justice in that High Court since April 2017, the resolution said, adding having regard to all relevant factors Justice Gita Mittal is suitable in all aspects for appointment as Chief Justice of J&K High Court.
While making recommendation, the Collegium has taken into consideration the fact that at present there is only one Chief Justice from Delhi High Court which has the special status of being the High Court for the national capital.
With the appointment of Justice Gita Mittal as Chief Justice, the strength of Judges in J&K High Court will increase to 9 as at present there are only eight Judges in the High Court including Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe. The other Judges of J&K High Court are Justice Ali Mohd Magrey, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice Tashi Rabstan, Justice Janak Raj Kotwal, Justice Sanjeev Kumar, Justice M K Hanjura and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta.
Born on December 9, 1958, Justice Gita Mittal is an alumna of the Lady Irwin Higher Secondary School, Lady Shri Ram College for Women and the Campus Law Centre, Delhi University. She was appointed as an Additional Judge of Delhi High Court on July 16, 2004.
Prior to her appointment as Additional Judge, she had an illustrious legal practice in all courts and other judicial forums since 1981. Justice Mittal was confirmed as a Permanent Judge on the February 20, 2006 and appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on April 14, 2017.
As a Judge, she has presided over several jurisdictions including heading a Division Bench hearing criminal appeals involving life and death sentence references; matters of the Armed Forces; Cooperative Societies; Criminal Contempt References; Criminal Appeals; Death References; Company Appeals; Writ Petitions and Letters Patent Appeals relating to the Armed Forces.
Since August 2008, Justice Gita Mittal has been a member of the Governing Council of the National Law University, Delhi. She is also a member of the Governing Council of the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi since 2013 and has been nominated to its Administrative Committee.
Justice Mittal is presently chairing the court committees on the Delhi High Court’s Mediation and Conciliation Centre as well as the committee monitoring the Implementation of Judicial Guidelines for Dealing with Cases of Sexual Offences and Child Witnesses. She has spearheaded the Vulnerable Witness Court Project in the trial courts in Delhi leading to the first such court room in India being inaugurated on September 16, 2012 and the second on September 11, 2013.
She was appointed as a Single Judge Tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in February, 2008 to examine the Government ban on activities of the Students of Islamic Movement in India (SIMI).
Her judicial pronouncements include judgments on compensation for riot victims; right to shelter of internally displaced persons; right to marriage of a lady member of the Armed Force; the appointment of a person suffering from ‘Disorder of Sexual Differentiation’ into the para-military force; principles which would govern DNA testing in paternity issues in the absence of statutory provisions; the conducting of trials in cases involving sexual offences and recording of statements of the victims and guidelines for the same; governance of sports and sports bodies; issues involving termination of service because of a pregnancy; right to workers in the labour force; trade-mark litigation; privacy laws; contours of the right to privacy of a public figure; revocation of passport – when permissible; constitutionality of enhancement of court fee; public interest, communication and commercial disputes of a wide nature.

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