VACANCIES IN THE JUDICIARY

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The number of outstanding cases in India’s higher judiciary has been rising at the same time as the number of vacancies in the Supreme Court and high courts. The number of outstanding cases, which is directly proportional to the judge-to-population ratio, is an essential indicator of how well a democracy’s justice system is working. As a result of this we can say that it’s important to look at the present state of vacancies in India’s judiciary.

The Supreme Court has been sanctioned to have a maximum of 34 judges in the court out of which the court is functioning with only 27 judges at the moment, this vacancy for the Supreme Court judges presently started from the retirement of retirement of Justice Ranjan Gogoi in November 2019 as the Chief Justice of India. Following the retirements of justices Deepak Gupta, R Bhanumathi, Arun Mishra, Indu Malhotra, and S A Bobde, who demitted office as the CJI last month and when In April, Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar died. A few more openings occurred in the Supreme Court. The 25 High Courts in India have a combined sanctioned strength of 1,080 judges. As of March 1, 2021, the current working strength is 661, with 419 openings. Due to these vacancies in the judiciary case are further ignored and this has been Indian judiciaries concern for a long time now.

To learn more about the causes behind the persistent vacancy pool, Economics times interviewed with five former High Court and Supreme Court judges, two current Chief Justices For their opinions and a half-dozen top parliamentarians and government officials were also canvassed. The interviews on as to knowing the reasons for the vacancies can be summarised as that the main issue behind these vacancies is the process of appointment of judges as it lacks smooth process and gets delayed a lot, another reason is the rejections of the names the collegium(s) sends to fill vacancies as usually the supreme court rejects about 33% of names that are sent for the fulfilment of vacancies and then law schools also focus more on making the students lawyers and not on building future members of the judiciary, to end we can also say that the interference of politicians due to personal issues etc. also cause a lot of delay in filling up the vacancies .

Thus to conclude it can be said that the government needs to work on its existing memorandum of procedure as the flaws in it leads to a lot of delay in appointment of the judges and the provisions in MOP which are actually helpful in filling up the vacancies are only good on the paper as in reality it is not implemented. Then more qualified names should be sent to the Supreme Court by the collegiums, Also try to encourage the law students to try their hand in judiciary as a lot of law students aren’t inclined towards judiciary because of the other perks they get in another field of practicing law and finally make provisions which avoid in delaying of appointments due to any officials interference without any probable cause. If the following steps are followed then maybe the issue of vacancies in the judiciary might get a boost in being resolved.

Article By : Prakhar Rai

References

  1. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/why-the-wheels-of-filling-judicial-vacancies-are-slow/articleshow/52084087.cms?from=mdr
  2. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/judicial-appointments-high-courts-ministry-of-law-and-justice-7240327/
  3. https://blog.forumias.com/pendency-of-cases-and-rising-vacancies-in-the-judiciary-explained-pointwise/
  4. https://theprint.in/opinion/one-third-judges-posts-lie-vacant-in-12-high-courts-so-much-for-collegiums/532266/
  5. https://vidhilegalpolicy.in/blog/vacancies-in-the-judiciary-are-troubling-but-other-issues-exist-too/

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