Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishanan on Sunday expressed concern over the "chronic shortage" of judicial officers, which is hindering efforts to overcome ever-increasing number of pending cases.
There are structural obstacles which discourage talented law graduates from joining the judicial services and over 17 per cent posts of judicial officers remained vacant in the subordinate judiciary, he said.
"There has undoubtedly been a chronic shortage of judicial officers, especially at subordinate level and there are also some structural obstacles which discourage talented law graduates from joining judicial services," the CJI said at a conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts in New Delhi.
He quoted the Law Commission report to say that the judicial system needed to be expanded by at least five times in order to meet the judge-to-population ratio of developed countries.
Balakrishnan said considerable number of vacancies at subordinate level have been filled in recent months but still 2,783 out of 16,946 sanctioned posts are vacant which calls for a compelling need for state governments and high courts to work in close coordination to fill up the vacancies in a time-bound manner.
He said establishment of gram nyayalayas would bring about a substantial change to the reach and quality of the justice delivery system. Incentives were required to be given for attracting talented lawyers to join as judicial officers for these village-level courts, he said.