Manipur`s HC judge quota usurped

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IMPHAL, May 22: State lawyers cry foul over alleged favoritism of the judicial authorities regarding selection of judges and of usurping Manipur’s quota along with those of other north eastern states.

Briefing newspersons today at Imphal President of High Court Bar Association N Kumarjit stated that cited that there are certain loopholes in the present judicial system.

He said after the passing of the North East Areas (Rorganization) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012 which in its purview includes setting up of a separate High Court of Manipur.

While welcoming the bill, the lawyers deliberated on its ramifications.

Under section 28 (B) of the Bill which gives provision for judges from the GHC to be transferrable here at the upcoming Manipur High Court.

Advocate Kumarjit mentioned that the common GHC has reserved quotas for the north east states including four seats for Manipur.

Alleging discrimination to members of the High Court Bar Association (HCBA), he said that favoritism has been a factor in the selection of judges for the common Gauhati High Court.

“It has been a practice to first consider the lawyers of Assam whenever a vacancy vis-à-vis Bar representation arises and thereafter they will start looking to Manipur or other NE states”, he added.

Pointing to the fact that there are two seats given to the state lawyers and the remaining two quota seats has remained vacant due to chronic neglect, he emphasized that the remaining seats should be filled up by state lawyers and not by anyone from outside.

An executive meeting of HCBA also resolved to urge the President, Prime Minister and Union Law Minister not to accept the opinion made by the judges of the Gauhati High Court regarding absorption of judges for the High Court of Manipur except for the case of Justice T Nandakumar and Justice N Koteswor.

He further said, the state does not object to exchange of judges after the establishment of the separate High Court but not at the loss of state quota.

It appealed that vacancies of judges for the upcoming court should be filled up by befitting lawyers of the state.

It may be mentioned that 3 persons from Nagaland, one from Mizoram, 4 from Meghalaya, 9 from Manipur were appointed in the history of the GHC, while more than a hundred were appointed from Assam.

Presently, out of the total of twenty three judges of the GHC, 15 judges are from Assam against the quota of 11. The state wise quota for post of judgeship are Assam-11, Nagaland-2,Meghalaya-2, Manipur-4, Tripura-3, Mizoram-1 and Arunachal Pradesh-1.


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