Six Judicial Appointments To Four HCs

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New Delhi, Nov 6 (UNI) The appointment of four High Court Judges and two Additional Judges by President Pratibha Patil was announced by the Law and Justice Ministry today.

Justices Vijai Kumar Bist and Sudhanshu Dhulia-- in that order of seniority-- have been appointed Judges of the Uttarakhand High Court, an announcement said.

Additional Judges Sudershan Kumar Misra of Delhi High Court and Abhijit Sinha of the Patna High Court have both been made permanent Judges of the respective courts, two announcements said.

The Ministry also announced the appointment of Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Vinod Kumar Gupta-- in that order of seniority-- as Additional Judges of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court for two years.

The appointments will take effect from the day the Judges assume charge of their respective office, the Ministry said.

The appointments came within days of the Ministry acknowledging that almost one in three High Court judgeships across India is vacant, although the government has acted 'promptly' in processing proposals from Chief Justices.

India's 21 High Courts have a sanctioned strengh of 886 Judges, but 266 judgeships are vacant, a government statement this week noted.

Arithmetically, that amounts to a vacancy-strength ratio of 1:3.33.

Such vacancies raise serious questions in light of the mounting numbers of cases pending in courts-- estimated 30 million-- and the Law Commission advice 19 years ago that India ought to quadruple the number of its judges.

For instance, 16 of 43 judgeships in Patna High Court were vacant at a count three months ago.

UNI MJ RP CS1805

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