Process of filling vacancies of HC judges on war footing: Supreme Court
The court said, in the first stage, it will look at filling the existing vacancies of high courts and then look into increasing the number if high court judges.
Chief Justice of India JS Khehar on 20 March 2017 said that the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointments to the higher judiciary has been cleared. The MoP was cleared by the Supreme Court Collegium.
With this clearance, the process of filling the vacancies in High Courts is proceeding on a war footing. The chief justice gave the information about clearance of the MoP while heading a three-judge Bench which was disposing of a number of PILs seeking to fill with vacancies for reducing the huge pendency of cases.
Highlights of the information provided by CJI JS Khehar
• Number of posts of judges in high courts would be increased by 25 per cent, however, there is no move to increase the number of posts of the High Court’s till all the existing judicial vacancies were filled. Sectioned strength of judges in all 24 high courts of India is 1079, which came down to its half.
• It said that it had constituted a committee of senior apex court judges that will suggest the ways of reducing the pendency of cases up to three years.
Earlier in March 2017, the MoP for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary was finalised by the Supreme Court collegium. This finalisation of MoP ended a year-long face-off with the executive by agreeing to include the contentious clause of national security in a selection of judges.
It had agreed to the national security clause, which the government had been insisting be included as one of the necessary criteria for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.
The collegium after deliberations had also agreed on setting up secretariats in the apex court and the high court’s to collate data about judges and assist in the selection procedure for their appointment to the higher judiciary.