The Central government has forwarded 69 names to the Supreme Court collegium for appointment of judges to the High Courts of Bombay, Calcutta, Punjab and Haryana, and Patna, The Indian Express has learnt.
The 69 names were forwarded to the apex court collegium on July 9 — after the completion of background check by the Intelligence Bureau, it is learnt.
Headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, the Supreme Court collegium has Justice A K Sikri as its new member after Justice Jasti Chelameswar retired last month. The other members are Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur, and Kurien Joseph.
The names forwarded are those recommended by the High Court collegium headed by the respective Chief Justices — these names are discussed with the Chief Minister and the Governor of the state concerned before they are finalised by the HC collegium.
“The names recommended to the Supreme Court collegium are from both the lower judiciary and members of the bar practising in respective High Courts,” a source said.
According to the source, the government is in the final stages of sending another batch of fresh recommendations to the SC collegium, which will include appointment of judges in Allahabad HC, which has 28 vacancies.
While high courts have a total of 407 vacancies across the spectrum, 247 of these vacancies are of permanent judges. The remaining are vacancies for additional judges.
Sources confirmed that at least 15 names have been recommended for appointment of judges to Bombay HC.
The Bombay HC, which has a sanctioned strength of 94 judges, at present has 25 vacancies. Sixteen of those positions vacant are that of permanent judges, the others being those of additional judges.
The government is learnt to have forwarded at least 14 names for appointment of judges to the Punjab and Haryana HC. While it has a sanctioned strength of 85 judges, the Punjab and Haryana HC at present has 35 vacancies, including 24 positions of permanent judges.
According to sources, at least nine names have been recommended for appointed of judges in Calcutta HC, which has 48 per cent of the posts lying vacant. With sanctioned strength of 72 judges, Calcutta HC has 31 posts of permanent judge lying vacant.