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Gujarat High Court gets 3 more judges, 22 positions still vacant

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Three advocates on Sunday were elevated as judges of the Gujarat High Court. The three advocates—Vaibhavi Nanavati, Nirzar Desai and Nikhil S Kariel—were administered the oath of office by Chief Justice Vikram Nath.

The appointments are likely to provide some respite to the Gujarat High Court administration that is grappling with an acute shortage of judges. With the elevation of these lawyers, the total count of judges in the Gujarat High Court increased to 30 as against the sanctioned strength of 52 judges.

Notably, the three names were cleared for judgeship by the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde in its meeting on August 14. Thereafter, the President of India cleared their names and a notification for their appointment as judges was issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice on October 1.

Legal eagles chosen for elevation as judges

One of the advocates chosen for elevation, Vaibhavi Nanavati, comes from a family of well-known lawyers. She has earned her experience in wide-ranging areas of legal practice such as constitutional law, criminal law, civil law, education law and service law among others.

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Similarly, Nikhil S Kariel is a well-known name in the legal circles. He has expertise in various branches of law.

On the other hand, Nirzarkumar Desai was the standing counsel for the Union government in the Gujarat High Court. He has expertise in service matters, pollution matters and indirect tax matters. He has represented the Centre in various important cases in the Gujarat High Court.

Vacancy in Gujarat High court

The Gujarat High Court is already grappling with an acute shortage of judges. Over 40 per cent of the sanctioned positions for judges are vacant. While the sanctioned strength of judges in the high court is 52, after the elevation of the three lawyers, only 30 judges, including Chief Justice Vikram Nath, are in position. Thus, there are 22 positions for judges vacant in the high court.

Notably, the last appointment of judges was in the month of March. Then, Justice Ilesh Vora, Justice Gita Gopi, Justice Ashokkumar Joshi and Justice Rajendra Sareen were elevated as high court judges.

 

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