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SC pulls up states, High Courts over delay in recruitment of judges

ANI | Updated: Nov 01, 2018 17:47 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 1 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday pulled up state governments and the High Courts for not filling up the vacancies in the subordinate judiciary and cautioned that it may go for a "centralised recruitment process" if vacancies are not filled in time.
The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice UU Lalit and Justice KM Joseph sought personal presence of Registrar Generals of various High Courts and the authorised representatives of the Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and the North-Eastern states on November 15 in this regard.
Justice Gogoi said all the states are under its gaze. "If you can't fill up the vacancies, we will take over that task from you and we will make it a centralised process," Justice Gogoi said while hearing the case relating to filling up of vacancies in judiciary across the country. The apex court added that the idea was to expedite the ongoing and the future processes of judges recruitment.
The top court said that it will examine the status of recruitment process by the different High Courts in batches. It also pulled up the Delhi High Court for delay in completing the recruitment process of 200 judges in the courts and asked "what's this laid back attitude?"
"It is taking over two years to complete the selection and recruitment when the numbers are only 200? This casual attitude is not justified," said the bench.
On October 22, the Supreme Court while taking into note that 5,133 posts were lying vacant in the subordinate judiciary across the country, had said existence of these vacancies is "wholly unacceptable".
The court had taken suo motu cognizance of the filling up of the vacancies in lower courts and sought information from High Courts and state governments. The top court while perusing the information collected by the apex court Registry from the Registries of different High Courts had said that it indicates that recruitment process to fill up 4,180 posts are presently underway and the said recruitment processes are poised at different stages in different states.
The bench had directed the High Courts and all state governments to submit the information about the dates on which the recruitment process for the two categories of posts - higher judicial service and lower judicial service - had been initiated and are expected to be completed and appointments made. It had also sought information whether the infrastructure and man-power available in the different states is adequate if all the posts that are borne in the cadre are to be filled up.
Chief Justice Gogoi before taking oath had said that he will take on the burgeoning pendency figures on a priority during his 13-month long tenure as the next Chief Justice of India. (ANI)