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Judges vacancies: States, HCs asked to fix time schedule

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 3 (UNI) While holding non-filling of posts of judicial officers responsible for ever increasing backlog of cases, the Supreme Court today issued directions to the States, Union Territories and High Courts to draw up a time schedule for filling the vacancies of judges at all levels.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Mr Justice C K Thakker, directed them to file details of the time schedule and date from which it would be operational, within three months.

It ruled that non-filling of vacancies for long not only resulted in avoidable litigation but also increased frustration among the candidates. This was one of reasons of huge pendency of cases in the courts.

The Court found it necessary to evolve a mechanism to speedily determine and fill the vacancies of judges at all levels. "For all these and other steps if any, it is necessary to provide for fixed time schedule so that system works automatically and there is no delay in filling up of vacancies," the court observed.

"The dates for taking these steps can be provided on the pattern similar to filling of vacancies in some other services or filling of seats for admission to medical colleges. The time schedule appended to the regulations governing medical admissions sets out a time schedule for every step to be strictly adhered to every year," the Court went on to say.

The directions came while allowing appeals by some candidates challenging the Allahabad High Court judgement holding that only those candidates who were of requisite age on July 1, 2003 were eligible. The lower age was 22 years and upper age limit was 35 years for the posts of civil judges in Uttar Pradesh.

The apex court, while setting aside the High Court order on a petition filed by Malik Mazhar Sultan and another, held that those who became eligible on July 1, 2004 and those who were eligible on July 1, 2002 would be considered for appointment to the posts of civil judge (junior division). In all, 347 candidates were to be recruited to the posts of civil judge by the UP Public Service Commission. The Court directed that the recruitment process for the remaining should be completed at the earliest.


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