Rajya Sabha MP P Wilson speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. (Picture courtesy: RS TV)
Rajya Sabha MP P Wilson speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. (Picture courtesy: RS TV)

High Courts functioning with 50 pc strength, Centre sitting on recommendations: RS MP

ANI | Updated: Feb 04, 2020 17:54 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 4 (ANI): Rajya Sabha lawmaker P Wilson on Tuesday raised the "alarming emergency prevailing in the appointment of judges" alleging that the Central government is sitting on recommendations even as most High Courts are functioning with only 50 per cent of their sanctioned strength.
Wilson said that the time has come for the Parliament to resolve the standoff between the Executive and Judiciary in the deadlock for the appointment of High Court judges within a time limit.
"Most High Courts are functioning with only 50 per cent of their sanctioned strength. Shockingly, it has recently come to light that there are about 213 names recommended for appointment by the collegium of the Supreme Court, but the Government is simply sitting over these recommendations without getting the approval of the President for months together for reasons best known to it," Wilson said in the Upper House of the Parliament.
The lawmaker added that the processing of these recommendations should happen within a clear and mandatory time frame.
"Such an inordinate delay in the processing of names recommended by the Supreme Court collegium directly affects the administration of justice, which is a sovereign function," Wilson said.
He said that the number of judges appointed to the High Courts has been steadily decreasing after NJAC (National Judicial Appointments Commission) case adding that only 115, 108 and 65 judges were appointed to the High Courts in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.
"Simultaneously, due to retirements and elevations, the vacancies continue to increase. Therefore, in my view, if this situation continues, the functioning of the High Courts throughout the country will be totally crippled, which does not benefit national interest," Wilson said.
"Access to Justice is an inalienable fundamental right of citizens. This right is defeated if our higher judiciary is crippled due to vacancies. People should not lose faith in the judiciary and adopt extra-constitutional methods due to the delay in disposal of cases," he added.
Wilson also argued that the recommendations sent by Chief Justices of High Court are sometimes repeatedly returned by the Central government without any valid reasons.
He requested the Prime Minister, Minister for Law and Justice and Cabinet Ministers to take a decision on the pending recommendations and "ensure that there is a mandatory time frame in the MOP for each stage of the appointment process". (ANI)

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