Govt refuses to take blame for vacancies in judiciary | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt refuses to take blame for vacancies in judiciary

The government has refused to take the blame for around 30% vacant posts of judges in 21 high courts across the country and has held the judiciary responsible for delays in recommending the names of those to be appointed. Nagendar Sharma reports.

delhi Updated: May 15, 2012 23:09 IST
Nagendar Sharma

The government has refused to take the blame for around 30% vacant posts of judges in 21 high courts across the country and has held the judiciary responsible for delays in recommending the names of those to be appointed.


According to official figures, of the total sanctioned 895 posts of high court judges in the country, 261 (nearly 30%) are lying vacant. The government has identified the vacant posts of judges as one of the main reasons behind the mounting number of pending cases.

"The government has been periodically reminding the chief justices of concerned high courts to initiate proposals in time for filling the existing vacancies," law minister Salman Khurshid informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

"Following the Supreme Court judgment of 1993, reaffirmed in 1998, the process of initiation of proposal for appointment of a judge in the SC rests with the Chief Justice of India and with the chief justice of the concerned high court in case of a high court judge," said the law minister.

His reply came in response to a query on whether the government has admitted that vacancies of judges in high courts across the country could not be filled up due to delays by chief justices of high courts in sending their recommendations.

Khurshid said the respective chief justices are also asked to keep in mind the "vacancies anticipated in the next six months in their high courts." Khurshid's predecessor, M Veerappa Moily had written to the chief justices of all high courts twice last year, in April and June, to fill up the vacancies and also run a campaign to recruit judicial officers in lower courts. According to the ministry, as a result of Moily's reminders, the number of vacancies filled up last year went up to 85 from 43 filled up in 2010.