NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India has on Friday expressed its anguish over the delayed Judicial appointments in the State High courts, accusing the Centre of trying to shut down the Judiciary. The apex court warned that it may summon the PMO secretary if no progress is made in this regard within two weeks.
According to the latest data, so far the PMO has accepted only 18 out of 77 names recommended for the posts of High court judges by the collegium. As a result, the High courts have been functioning with shortage of judges with ever increasing pending cases.
“So what is the government’s intention?. Do you want to shut down the Indian Judiciary?. At Present, the state High courts are functioning with less than 60% of the actual strength. We were asking for more number of judges to decrease the number of pending cases but in contrast, the Central government is only increasing the work load on the existing judges with delay in Judicial appointments”, the Supreme Court pointed to the Advocate general.
“Previously there were more judges and less court room. Now, many High court rooms are locked due to non-appointment of judges”, the bench noted.
The Centre argued that non-finalization of the judicial appointments procedure was the main reason for the delay in appointments. However, the apex court dismissed the allegation noting that the Central government had earlier agreed to continue with the old procedure of judicial appointments (collegium system).
At of April 2016, more than 20 million cases are pending in various courts of the Indian judiciary system. While there are arguments that the Central government’s delay in appointment of judges was the main reason for the slow pace in disposal of pending cases, the Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur noted that pending cases in lower courts ‘also depends on the attitude of the Judges, who are not willing to work for an extra hour’.