Judges' shortage: 4 in SC, 71 in High Courts: Govt
New Delhi, Dec 4 (UNI) As many as 22 judges were in position in the Supreme Court against the sanctioned strength of 26 while in the High Court 615 judges had been appointed leaving 71 vacancies to be filled till end-November, Minister of State for Law and Justice K Venkatapathy told the Rajya Sabha today.
Replying to a question, the Minister said in a written reply that filling up of vacancies in the High Courts was a "continuous consultative process among the constitutional authorities".
While every effort was made to fill up these vacancies expeditiously, vacancies kept arising due to "retirements, resignation or elevation of Judges".
The entire process of initiation of proposal for appointment of a judge of the apex and High Courts lay with their Chief Justices respectively.
Noting that an increase in the Judges' strength had been proposed by the Supreme Court in its judgment of March 21, 2002, Mr Venkatapathy said the verdict had favoured raising of the number of judges by the Union Law Ministry from the existing 10.5 or 13 per 1 million people to 50 judges per 1 million people within the next five years in a phased manner.
He said the Centre had filed an affidavit praying that the increse in judges' strength in the union territories for which it was administratively responsible be based on workload and pendency of cases.
Further, the Centre had been periodically urging all state government/union territories to accord utmost priority to filling up these vacancies of judges and magistrates, he added.
According to figures available, Uttar Pradesh leads with 748 judges posts not filled, followed by Bihar and Maharashtra with 472 and 216 vacancies respectively.
In the case of union territories, Delhi accounted for 126 of the total 134 vacancies notified.
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