Jammu & Kashmir High Court: Justice Rajnesh Oswal becomes the First J&K HC Judge to take oath under the Indian Constitution

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Justice Rajnesh Oswal on Thursday took oath as a Judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Sworn in as a permanent Judge of the High Court of J&K, Ladakh, Justice Oswal is the first one to take oath under the Indian Constitution.

The oath ceremony was transmitted (with audio and video) through internet i.e. webcast.

His appointment was notified through Notification No. K.I3021/01/2020-US.I Dt. 29th January 2020 issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Law and Justice. The Oath was administered today at 12.30 pm by the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in the Conference Hall of Jammu wing of the High Court. The ceremony was transmitted through the internet.

Following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, Justice Rajnesh Oswal today became the first Judge to take the oath as a Judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court under the Indian Constitution. On account of guidelines for containment of Coronavirus Pandemic to maintain social distancing other Judges of the High Court of J&K joined the oath ceremony through video link. The oath-taking ceremony was broadcast online. It is pertinent to mention that this is for the first time in the history of Indian Judiciary, that other Judges of the High Court attended the oath ceremony through video conferencing.

It is pertinent to mention that Justice Rajnesh Oswal was appointed as Judge of Common High Court for the Union territories of J&K and Ladakh on 29th of January 2020 and the authorization for administering oath by Chief Justice to Justice Rajnesh Oswal was received on 1st of April 2020. The Chief Justice of the J&K High Court, Justice Gita Mittal administered the oath to Justice Rajesh Oswal in a ceremony which was telecasted live on the internet.

Justice Rajnesh Oswal
Justice Rajnesh Oswal

Justice Rajnesh Oswal had also served as Standing Counsel for Crime Branch Jammu and panel Lawyer for J&K High Court. Earlier, he did his graduation from GGM Science College and LLB from Jammu University and had also received Gold Medal in LLB academics. HC Registrar General Sanjay Dhar read out the warrant of appointment issued by the President. He also read out the letter of authorization issued by the Lieutenant-Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Central Government had cleared the appointment of advocate Rajnesh Oswal as a judge of the common High Court for the UT of Jammu & Kashmir and UT of Ladakh in January this year. The other judges were previously administered oath under the J&K Constitution. Several petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 are presently pending before the Supreme Court.

Previously, the oath-taking process in Jammu & Kashmir was under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir.

The ceremony was attended by a few judges, Director General of Police and the Advocate General.

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