New Delhi, Aug 12: The Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur on Friday pulled up the Modi government, accusing it of trying to bring the entire judiciary to a halt by stalling the appointment of judges for over eight months, and warned that if the logjam continues, he may be "forced to judicially intervene" in the matter.
An angry Justice Thakur, who earlier in the day had rapped the Union government for not filing an affidavit in a public interest petition and delaying that case for over an year, sought to know why the Centre had stalled the process of appointing judges to the High Courts.
"There are 78 requests by the collegium for transfer and appointment of judges. None of this has been cleared since the past eight months", Justice Thakur said. "Why is this pending for the past eight months. Are you trying to bring the judiciary to a grinding halt!"
The vacancy in the High Courts have increased to 43 percent while pendency of cases has touched four million.
The process of appointment of judges cannot be stalled by the government pending the finalisation of the Memorandum of Procedure, Justice Thakur said in a note of warning. He went on to ask, "before which authority in the government is this matter stuck".
Justice Thakur directed the Attorney General of India to file the government's reply explaining the delay in four weeks' time.
The CJI said the time had come to take judicial note of the appointments and transfers, which have not been made despite the collegium clearing them eight months ago.
If the logjam continues, "we will be forced to judicially intervene", the CJI warned.