HC frames transfer policy for judicial officers in J&K, Ladakh

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Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court here on Tuesday framed a policy for the transfers of judicial officers in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

According to the policy issued by Registrar General, the general transfers of judicial officers in both the UTs shall be effected ordinarily twice a year during the months of March and September unless otherwise directed by the Chief Justice. The suitability of officers in the interest of administration of justice and exposing them to different nature of work shall be the paramount criteria for transfer/posting of officers.

No officer shall be posted as far as practicable in his district/home town or in any district where his/her blood/close relative(s) such as parents, spouse, son, daughter, brother, sister, nephew, niece, brother-in-law and sister-in-law are practicing, it said. Endeavour shall be made, as far as possible to post husband and wife (if both happens to be judicial officers) in the same district or adjoining districts and judicial officer suffering from a serious ailment or who is physically challenged may be given convenient posting, it added.

The transfer policy also pointed out that the term of posting of judicial officers would normally be of two years but if exigency arises, they may be transferred earlier, or permitted to overstay at the discretion of the Chief Justice subject to ratification by the Full Court.

The term of posting of a judicial officer at a hard station/district shall be of one year only. The hard stations are Bani, Mahore, Gandoh, Gool, Kotranka, Budhal, D.H. Pora, Uri, Tangdhar, Gurez, Leh, Nubra, Khaltsi, Kargil, Drass, Sanku and Zanskar. It is worthwhile to mention here that the stations categorized as hard stations in district Leh and Kargil shall not be considered as hard stations for Judicial Officers who are residents of UT of Ladakh.

Any judicial officer who has served two years tenure at a hard station/district would not be posted in any other such station/district until the expiry of four years from his/her last posting at any such hard station/district, it said, adding that no judicial officer shall be posted in the same district twice as far as possible except the District Judge unless the Court otherwise directs in the exigency of service.

In order to effectuate transfers of officers, the Registrar General shall obtain in advance three choices of stations from judicial officers likely to be transferred and shall place the same before the Chief Justice/Committee to facilitate the transfers/postings. No officer would ordinarily be appointed on deputation outside the Cadre except once while working as Civil Judge (Jr. Division), Civil Judge (Sr. Division) and District Judge and consecutive deputation would not be permissible except on the prerogative of the Chief Justice.

Notwithstanding the above guidelines/policy, an officer would generally be given a station of his choice as the last posting before his retirement, it pointed out, adding that if an officer has one or less than a year to retire, as on the first day of April, he may not be disturbed from his existing place of posting, as far as possible.

In regard to matters that are not specifically provided herein above, the Chief Justice may issue such general or particular clarifications as may be necessary for the effectuation of transfers and postings having regard to the general interest in the administration of justice, the transfer policy pointed out.

The office of the Registrar General shall keep the database of transfers/postings of the Judicial Officers updated (including soft form), for effective implementation of the transfer policy and keep it available on the Court’s website, it added.