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‘It is pouring Judges’: SC collegium clears record 51 names for HC Judgeship


Appoint Judges on War Footing
Appointing Judges on War Footing

These elevations will ease the vacancy position considerably.

While setting a record of sorts, the Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar has now recommended a mammoth 51 names for Judges in 10 high courts in one go.

This was done shortly after the memorandum of procedure (MoP) was finalised for the appointment of judges in Supreme Court and High Courts.

As on date more than 41% posts are vacant at the 24 High Courts as only 632 Judges are functioning as against a sanctioned strength of 1,079.

The Apex Court collegium comprising CJI Khehar and Justices Dipak Misra and Jasti Chelameswar were facing a difficult time in finalising names as Justice Chelameswar was abstaining from participating from collegium meetings.

To overcome it CJI Khehar devised a way out and met Justice Misra and Justice Chelameswar separately many a times between March 20 and 29 to pick up the names. At the end of the process out of the list of nearly 90 names originally recommended by various high court collegiums, only 51 were recommended..

The recommendations were pending since third week of April 2016.

Out of the 51 names, the collegium recommended 20 are sitting Judicial officers and 31 are Advocates for appointment as HC judges.

It has never happened before when the SC collegium recommended 51 names within a span of 10 days.

Despite the logjam over the MoP after NJAC Judgement, the Government had had cleared appointment of a record 127 Judges to HCs in 2016.

Of the 51 names recommended, lion’s share came to Bombay HC with 14 names. Despite having sanctioned strength of 94 judges it was working with strength of 61.

The Punjab and Haryana HC, accounted for nine names even though against a sanctioned strength of 85 it has  vacancy of 39.

Jammu & Kashmir HC got Three names recommended, with vacancy of Eight judges.

Jharkhand HC (12 vacancies) got two judges and Gauhati HC (seven vacancies )also got two judges.

The lone vacancy in Sikkim HC is also recommended to be filled.

Surprisingly, Allahabad High Court with a sanctioned strength of 160 judges, is coping under a vacancy of 76 judges, is still to see light of the day as the names recommended by the collegium then headed by CJI T S Thakur were sent back by the Govt.

With inputs from TOI.

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