Chandigarh Judicial Academy
An institution takes birth by virtue of thoughts, which dwelt in the mind of a person with versatile vision. The thought of imparting “Judicial Education” came in the minds of various persons in the country, but, the formalization thereof took time to happen at the congenial places and the appropriate time. Finally, the matter came within the domain of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, when their Lordships were delving into the issues raised, in re: All India Judges Association vs. Union of India and others. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India mandated that “an institute” needs to be set up for imparting “Judicial Education” and that such effort shall not be allowed to suffer the impediments at different levels in the judicial hierarchy nor in the executive domain. The mind set was that a “young judicial officer”, who by dint of his/her brilliance, qualifies to be a member of the judicial system for imparting justice, needs to be guided vis-à-vis the functions of judicial system and the mannerism in which justice be done at the earliest. In this regard a yeoman service was required, thus, the thought process was promulgated to create the organization/institution accordingly. State Judicial Academy needs to be set up in each State and Union Territory. However, keeping in view the financial stringencies disclosed by the concerned quarters, it had been observed that one common institute for more than one State/Union Territory, can also be considered. Earlier, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had observed in another petition that “National Judicial Academy” needs to be set up for providing homogeneity and humility in the judicial system tempered with the principle of contiguity. Thus, it was subsequently made optional for the States to have such Training Institutes, either independently or jointly with other States. The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that an independent institute can be established by the State for imparting “Judicial Education”. It looks that both the States, Punjab and Haryana, showed their reluctance in setting up an independent institute for imparting “Judicial Education”, of course, on the premises of financial constraints and restraints. In the year 1995, a proposal for setting up of a joint institute, for the States of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, was made. A meeting was held in the chamber of Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.P. Sethi, the then Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court, and later Judge of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, on May 24, 1996, which was attended by the Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Haryana. The Chief Secretary of Haryana had offered to set up the institute at Panchkula, which would cater to the imparting of judicial training to the Judicial Officers from the States of Punjab, Haryana, Union Territory Chandigarh, Jammu& Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. All the States were required to share the costs proportionately. It was also proposed that till the building of the institute comes up, some premises may be taken on rent for starting the training in that regard, without any loss of time. However, the government of Himachal Pradesh conveyed its willingness for the common academy, being set up for the aforesaid States. So far as Government of India is concerned, it expressed its inability on the premises that Government of India had already proceeded to set up National Judicial Academy at Bhopal and that the cost of which was being borne by Government of India. The government of Jammu& Kashmir had also conveyed its concurrence. Resultantly, share of proportionate costs was revised and the same was taken up with their respective authorities. It was principally agreed that the Judicial Academy would be established near the premises of High Court-at Chandigarh. However, the matter went on and on. Ultimately, the Government of Himachal Pradesh informed that it was having an institute of Public Administration at Mashobra near Shimla, which can conduct the requisite programmes for Judicial Officers. Later on, in a meeting on May 7, 2004 of the Chief Secretaries of the Punjab and Haryana, along with the Advisor of U.T., Chandigarh, issues were finally resolved that the proposed joint Judicial Academy shall be exclusively set up for Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory, Chandigarh. The land measuring 8.5 Acres for Judicial Academy has been provided by the Chandigarh Administration vide office Memo No.8/4/10-1 H(8)-2005/19535 dated 21.10.2005. The matter was considered on May 28,2004 and Shri J.S. Gill, the then Chief Secretary to Government of Punjab, agreed that the facilities available in Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Public Administration may be utilized for holding workshop and seminar for the Judicial Officers, till the construction of separate building, for setting up a Judicial Academy, is completed. The aforesaid proposal had the approval of Training Program Committee and Building Committee of the Hon’ble High Court for the States of Punjab and Haryana, aforesaid meeting had been attended by the then Chief Secretary to Government of Punjab. On October 18, 2006, it was unanimously resolved at the High Court of Punjab and Haryana that a society named “Chandigarh Judicial Academy for Punjab and Haryana” be got registered under the Societies Registration Act to undertake the task of training of Judicial Officers of the States of Punjab and Haryana as per guidelines provided by the First National Judicial Pay Commission, in its report Volume 2, Chapter XIII. Initial Corpus of Rs. 2.5 Crores and first year’s running expenses of Rs.2.5.Crores was to be shared equally by the States of Punjab and Haryana. Subsequent contributions are to be made as decided by Governing Body (Now General Body). Shri N.S.Saini, former Additional District and Sessions Judge was appointed as the first Director of the Academy. Shri Saini continued to discharge his duties till. It was on February 1, 2007, Hon’ble Mr. Justice J.S.Narang was appointed as First Director General of the Academy. Justice Narang contributed to the development of the Academy from its infancy to the present Status having a magnificent building on 8.5 Acres of Land. Justice Narang guided the Academy and continued to discharge the duties as the Director General of the Academy till August 18, 2009. Shri A.S.Sodhi, Shri R.P.Bhasin, Shri I.J.Kaushik, former District and Sessions Judges and Shri B.C.Gupta, a former Additional District and Session Judge guided the training programmes as the initial faculty members of the Academy. On May 23, 2009, the new Campus of Chandigarh Judicial Academy in Sector 43, Chandigarh was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India. The building with State of the Art and modern facilities’ has been constructed by engineering wing of Chandigarh Administration with the funds provided in equal shares by the Government of States of Punjab and Haryana. The Academy has a well Auditorium to seat 300 people equipped with video conference facility with state of the art audio and video presentations. The academy has six lecture theaters out of which two are equipped with video conference facility, a modern kitchen, a gymnasium, a squash court, room for indoor games and swimming pool. The academy has hostel with over 100 rooms. The Memorandum of Association and Rules of Chandigarh Judicial Academy has under gone complete change as resolved by the General Body of the Academy on August 18, 2009. The aims and objects have been enlarged. The Rules for the Constitution of Board of Governors provide that three senior most judges, other than the judges who are members of the Administrative Committee of the High Court, shall be members of the Board. Two other judges are to be nominated as members of the Board of Governors by Patron in Chief i.e. Hon’ble Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The first Board of Governors comprised of Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.K.Mittal, as President, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Hemant Gupta, Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.S.Saron , Hon’ble Mr. Justice Nawab Singh & Hon’ble Ms. Justice Nirmaljit Kaur were the members of Board of Governors . The present Board of Governors comprises of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Rajesh Bindal, as President, Hon’ble Mr. Justice M.M. Singh Bedi , Hon’ble Mr. Justice A.B. Chaudhari , Hon’ble Mr. Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain & Hon’ble Mr. Justice Augustine George Masih as the other members.