Law minister Rijiju says to tackle high pendency, appointments in judiciary is a must

NEW DELHI: Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju today insinuated that the huge problems of pendency of cases in various courts of the country which is slated to cross the 5 crore mark soon will linger unless a new appointment system is put in place.

Speaking in the upper house, the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session of Parliament, Rijiju said that said the Centre has a 'limited role' over appointments of judges (obviously referring to the collegium system of appointment of judges) and that the Centre has taken various measures to reduce the pendency of cases.

The minister said, "We are giving our full support to reduce the pendency of cases. But questions will keep arising on the vacancy of judges and appointments till we create a new system for appointments."

In order to make the collegium system for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts more broad-based, transparent, and accountable and for bringing objectivity in the system, the government enacted the Constitution (Ninety-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 and the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 with effect from April 13, 2015.

However, the Acts were challenged in the apex court, which, through a judgment dated October 16, 2015, declared both Acts as unconstitutional and void.

As on December 9, 777 judges are working in the high courts against the sanctioned strength of 1,108, leaving a vacancy of 331 (30 per cent). In the Supreme Court (as on December 5), against the sanctioned strength of 34 judges, 27 are working, leaving seven vacancies.


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