Chief Justice of India J S Khehar on Wednesday said the shortfall in the number of judges was affecting work in the apex court, which currently has 23 judges against the sanctioned strength of 31 and indicated that efforts would be made to fill up vacancies. The important observations were made when senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan sought early hearing of a civil appeal pertaining to an inter-state dispute.
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“We are so short of strength that it is difficult to manage day-to-day affairs,” a bench comprising the CJI and Justice D Y Chandrachud said. “We will increase our strength. Wait till the month end,” the bench said, indicating that steps would be taken to fill up the vacancies in the top court. The recent retirement of CJI T S Thakur, who had been raising the issue of vacancies in judiciary, has truncated the strength of the apex court bench to 23.