HC Judge Transferred After Confirmation Challenged

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (UNI) A Madras High Court judge whose confirmation by India's Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan was questioned before the Supreme Court was announced today to have been transferred to Andhra Pradesh High Court.

President Pratibha Patil gave Madras High Court Judge S Ashok Kumar until March 25 to assume his new charge as Judge of Andhra Pradesh High Court, a Law and Justice Ministry announcement said.

President Patil acting ''after consultation with'' Justice Balakrishnan directed Justice Kumar ''to assume charge of the office of the Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on or before 25th March,'' it said.

The transfer order came even as the government is in the midst of filing in the apex court its memo of procedure followed in permanent appointment of judges on probation or Additional judges.

The government was directed by an apex court Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and P Sathasivam to file the memo by April 10.

The confirmation was challenged by former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan saying that in recommending it, the Chief Justice of India deviated from the norms which require his consultation with fellow apex court judges.

Justice Kumar was one of eight Additional Judges appointed to Madras High Court in April 2003 whose services were extended beyond the customary two year term.

In a separate announcement today, the Ministry appointed four new Additional Judges to Delhi and Punjab and Haryana High Courts.

President Patil has appointed two Additional Judges each to the High Courts of Delhi and Punjab and Haryana, the announcement said.

Justices Siddharth Mridul and Manmohan will be Additional Judges of Delhi High Court in that order of seniority, it said.

Justices Sabina and Jora Singh will be Additional Judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court in that order of seniority, it said.

All four appointments will be for two years each and take effect from the respective dates of the appointees' assumption of office, it said.

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