Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal has been appointed as the acting chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after incumbent chief justice Shivax Jal Vazifdar demitted office at midnight upon his retirement. The Law Ministry issued a notification late last night appointing Justice Mittal as the acting chief justice with effect from May 4. A recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium proposing the name of Justice Krishna Murari, senior-most judge of the Allahabad high court after the chief justice, to head the Punjab and Haryana High Court is pending before the Centre.
Registrar (Judicial) of the Punjab and Haryana high court wrote to Justice Vazifdar last evening that there has been no communication from the Law Ministry about officiating chief justice to take charge with effect from May 4 even at 7.30 PM and it could create problems in allocating cases. Justice Vazifdar purportedly said he would not be able to decide on the roster after his retirement and the senior-most judge should be consulted in this regard.
Late last night, the Law Ministry issued the notification appointing the acting chief justice. On April 19, the Supreme Court collegium had recommended the name of Justice Krishna Murari to head the Punjab and Haryana High Court. If the government agrees with the recommendation of the collegium, Justice Krishna Murari would head the Punjab and Haryana HC in the coming days.