Posts of 7 SC judges vacant, Collegium yet to recommend names

Meanwhile, the high court collegium too has not made any recommendation for appointment of judges for least one-fifth of available vacancies.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: November 30, 2016 10:09 am
supreme court, supreme court judges, retired supreme court judges, sc, new judges, high court, judges appointment, central government, judges vacancies, judges appointment, ts thakur, judiciary, indian express news, india news A bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur asked for details of money allocated under the 14th Finance Commission for the judiciary over the next five years, commencing April 1, 2015.

Despite seven Supreme Court judges having retired since December 31, 2015, the central government is yet to receive any recommendation from the collegium to fill up these vacancies in the top court. This at a time when shortage of judges at all levels has prompted a war of words between the judiciary and the government. Meanwhile, the high court collegium too has not made any recommendation for appointment of judges for least one-fifth of available vacancies, while there are around 5,000 vacant posts in subordinate judiciary.

Amid all this, the Supreme Court Tuesday sought details of money allocated by the government for improving infrastructure of the judiciary.

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A bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur asked for details of money allocated under the 14th Finance Commission for the judiciary over the next five years, commencing April 1, 2015.

It also asked the Centre to give a break-up on how this was to be spent while specifying the mechanism to ensure the earmarked funds will be spent on the judiciary. The bench gave the government 10 days to place the pertinent documents.

According to sources in the government, a sum of Rs 5,400 crore has been allocated for subordinate judiciary between 1993-94 and 2014, when NDA came to power. “This government alone has allocated Rs 2,014 crore in the last two years,” added a senior official. There are 16,070 working court halls in the country while another 2,700 court halls are under construction.

At present, there are seven vacancies in the Supreme Court with the first chair falling vacant on December 31, 2015. While it has approved strength of 31 judges, the Supreme Court currently has 24. However, according to the sources in the government, they have not received a single recommendation so far from the Supreme Court collegium regarding these appointments.

A look at statistics on pendency in higher judiciary further demonstrates that there are 430 vacant posts of judges in 24 high courts across the country as against the total approved strength of 1,079 posts.

In high courts, 370 proposals for appointments had been received from the collegium between 2015 and 2016, but no recommendations were made regarding 279 vacant posts. Out of 370 proposals, 290 names were examined by the collegium in the Supreme Court, which rejected 99 names — around 34 per cent of total proposals initiated by high courts.

The SC collegium has recommended 191 names out of which 120 have been appointed in high courts. Appointment of 120 judges in one year, sources said, was the second highest since 1990 and depicted a correct picture when the average appointment in the last 25 years have been 80 judges per year. There are 42 names under consideration of the government whereas 43 others are under scrutiny of the SC collegium. Further, out of a working strength of 16,070, 4,937 vacancies exist in the subordinate courts.

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  1. I
    Nov 30, 2016 at 12:12 am
    Collegium can't even recommend names but still complains about the government.
  2. A
    Nov 30, 2016 at 7:08 am
    Indian Judiciary is most corrupt in world and this current CJI is worst , he only believes in blame game. He has sold himself to scamgr
  3. G
    Nov 30, 2016 at 7:31 am
    Judicery is unable to keep its house in order and trying to apportion blame on others. When they know that there r several hundred judges retiring every year, why do they not keep list of sorted out and approved list at least one year in advance to fill the post on the day a judge is retiring. It appears for them attending collegian and other administrative work, is more important than doing the actual judicery work
  4. S
    Nov 30, 2016 at 4:44 am
    Fix the qualifications and experience for judges then check their background and if no corruption charges. are pending against them then select them through lottery as done in the selection of chief priests. In Iyappa and Grovayoor temples in Kerala . This stop corruption, recommendation , favouritism etc
  5. A
    ak dev
    Nov 30, 2016 at 8:08 am
    The only way out of all mess that India is in today is to give two third majority to Modi in 2019 and then let people ask Modi for whatever is to be done. Two third majority is required to make changes to consution such as making judiciary accountable.
  6. P
    Nov 30, 2016 at 5:33 am
    What I don't understand is why we all behave a pre-set pattern. Be the the opposition politicians on demonitisation or the higher judiciary on appointment of judges - all are concerned with the pain suffered by the `common man`.lt;br/gt;Do common man approach higher judiciary (high court or supreme court) directly to get justice in the day-to-day legal cases? Only the well-to-do and politicians generally approach the higher judiciary directly. Common man approaches civil/criminal courts at the lower level and after protracted delays, adjournments etc if still left with any energy/money, reach the higher judiciary on his knees. Who is responsible for the delay at the lower judiciary which is the maximum and affects the common man most? There are said to be around five thousand vacant posts of judges here. Ho will fill them? Not the central govt. If they really care for the common man, why don`t the HCs/SC do something for this?
  7. S
    Nov 30, 2016 at 3:22 am
    corrupt judges will only appoint corrupts in judiciary... thakur has brought judicial corruption to new heights.. these thugs have zero accountability.. they keep on appointing their sons and daughter.. fixers like kapil sibbal win all cases even making single call... mint money and ppl suffer system deteriorates... alas judges have no accountability no answearability.. no transparency
  8. R
    rakesh mahato
    Nov 30, 2016 at 1:55 am
    The judiciary in the world's largest democracy is totally unaccountable. They vehemently opposed any change in the system.First is should mend it's house in order.CEASAR'S WIFE SHOULD BE ABOVE SUION
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