Supreme Court flags delay in appointment of judges

3 min read

News:The Supreme Court of India in its judicial order has taken serious note of the government sitting over names reiterated by the CJI-led collegium for appointment as high court judges.

Facts:

What did the Supreme Court said?

  • The Supreme Court in its judicial order has said that the 213 names recommended for appointment to various High Courts are pending with the government.
  • The court has said that at least the names on which the Supreme Court Collegium, the High Courts and the governments had agreed upon should be appointed within six months.
  • The number of judges appointed to the High Court has steadily decreased since 2017.Only 65 judges have been appointed to High Courts in 2019.
  • The High Courts are functioning at nearly 50% of their sanctioned judicial strength.Of a total 1,079 judges sanctioned in the High Courts,there are 410 vacancies.

Why the delay in appointment?

  • The Supreme Court in its three previous judgements had said that the government has to make the appointments if the collegium reiterated them after the government returned the names with objections.
  • On the Supreme Court collegium clearing the recommendees, the Union Law Ministry has to put up within three weeks the recommendations to the Prime Minister who would advise the President on the appointment. 
  • However,no time limit has been prescribed for action by the Prime Minister and the President.

Additional information:

About Collegium system:

  • The Collegium System is a system under which appointments/elevation of judges to the Supreme Court and transfers of judges of the High Courts are decided by a forum of the Chief Justice of India and the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.
  • The Collegiums System of appointment of judges has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.
  • The Chief Justice of India (CJI) and the other judges of the judiciary are appointed by the President of India under Article 124(2) of the Constitution.