Supreme Court of India (File Photo)
Supreme Court of India (File Photo)

No shortage of judges in Supreme Court: RS Prasad

ANI | Updated: Jul 10, 2019 18:26 IST

New Delhi (India), July 10 (ANI): The centre on Wednesday said there is no shortage of judges in the Supreme Court as it has reached its full strength but admitted that there are 403 vacancies in the High Courts across the country.
In a written reply, the government also said there was no proposal to amend the Constitution for providing reservations in appointments of judges in Supreme Court and High Courts.
"There is no shortage of Judges in the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court has reached its full strength of 31 Judges for the first time since 2009. However, as on July 1, 2019, there are 403 vacancies in the High Courts," Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Lok Sabha.
He said the appointment of judges in the High Courts is a continuous collaborative process between the Executive and the Judiciary, as it requires consultation and approval from various Constitutional authorities.
"While every effort is made to fill up the existing vacancies expeditiously, vacancies do keep on arising on account of retirement, resignation or elevation of Judges and increase in Judge strength," he said.
On pendency of cases in Supreme Courts and the High Courts, Prasad said that as on July 1, 2019, there were 59,331 cases pending in the Supreme Court, while 43.55 lakh cases were pending in High Courts.
"The delay in disposal of cases in Higher Judiciary is not only due to the shortage of judges but also due to various factors such as increasing number of state and central legislation, accumulation of first appeals, continuation of ordinary civil jurisdiction in some of the High Courts," he said.
The Minister said that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) has sent proposals for augmenting the Judge-strength in Supreme Court appropriately so that it can function more efficiently and effectively and retain the goal of rendering timely justice to litigant public.
"The CJI has also proposed to increase the retirement age of High Court judges for ensuring continued availability of more experienced judges for a longer tenure and for improving the vacancy position and reducing the pendency of cases," he said.
To a query asking whether the government has received suggestions from various parties for providing reservation in higher judicial recruitment and if there will be constitutional amendments in this regard, the Minister said there was no such proposal. (ANI)