Cabinet to introduce bill to increase number of SC judges, except CJI
New Delhi, July 31: The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to introduce a bill in Parliament to increase the number of judges from 31 to 33 excluding the Chief Justice of India.
Once Parliament gives approval to the bill, the apex court will have a sanctioned strength of 34, including the CJI.
The move is followed by a letter written by CJI Ranjan Gogoi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he had asked for the number of judges in the top court to be increased.
Gogoi has also urged the Prime Minister to make tenure appointments of retired apex court judges and high court judges under Articles 128 and 224A of the Constitution respectively to clear backlog of cases pending for years.
The CJI, who wrote three letters to the PM, said there was a pendency of 58,669 cases in the top court and the number was increasing due to filing of more fresh cases. Due to paucity of judges, the required number of Constitution benches to decide important cases involving questions of law were not being formed, the CJI said.
Due to paucity of judges, the required number of Constitution benches to decide important cases involving questions of law were not being formed, the CJI said.
"You would recall that way back in 1988, about three decades ago, the judge strength of the SC was increased from 18 to 26, and then again after two decades in 2009, it was increased to 31, including the CJI, to expedite disposal of cases to keep pace with the rate of institution," he wrote.
In 2016, the NDA government had increased the number of judges in High Court from 906 to 1079.