30 Million Cases Pending - 3332 Judges' Posts Vacant

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New Delhi, Mar 3 (UNI) One in every five district and subordinate court posts across India is vacant, Law and Justice Minister Hans Raj Bhardwaj acknowledged in Parliament today.

That adds up to 3,233 vacancies out of a sanctioned strength of 15,672 posts, Bhardwaj told Rajya Sabha.

Bihar and Uttar Pradesh account for 541 and 513 vacancies respectively, figures indicate. That is almost a third of all vacancies.

In a written reply to Shiv Sena Member from Maharashtra Rajkumar Dhoot, Bhardwaj explained that the administrative control over subordinate judiciary vests with the concerned High Court and the State government.

''Filling up of the vacant posts of Judges (or) Magistrates in Subordinate courts is the concern of the respective High Courts and the State governments.'' But then the Minister also acknowledged that roughly one in every seven High Court posts is vacant.

Bhardwaj explained that since a Supreme Court judgement of October 6, 1993 the process for initiation of proposal for appointment of Judges of a High Court ''lies with the Chief Justice of that High Court.'' He said the government ''has... been requesting'' the Chief Justices of the High Courts, Chief Ministers and the Governors of the States, ''from time to time,'' to initiate proposals to fill up vacancies anticipated during next six months-- apparently without avail.

Some 30 million cases are pending before courts across India, the Law Minister also acknowledged.


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