The Chief Justices’ Conference has recommended increasing in the working hours of high courts to clear the huge backlog of cases.
At the end of the two-day conference, Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan said the working hours could be increased by 30 minutes each day or one more working day be added to the calendar. Most high courts work for 210 days in a year and it has been recommended to increase it up to 215 or 220, he said. “Some... high courts are already working up to 220 days,” he added.
Giving details of the decisions taken at the meet, the chief justice told a gathering of lawyers the conference has also recommended setting up 463 family courts, one in each district, to deal with matrimonial cases. The conference has recommended setting up one CBI court in each state. There were about 13,000 cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act pending in various high courts out of which 6,100 were CBI cases, he added.
On the issue of vacancies in the subordinate courts, it has been decided that the chief justices will take steps for filling up of 3,393 vacancies on a priority basis. Balakrishnan said vigilance in district courts would be strengthened to check corruption.
He tried to dispel the notion that vacancies in the higher judiciary was due to delay on the part of the Supreme Court Collegium. “We clear the appointment files in two weeks. Not a single file is pending before the Supreme Court Collegium,” he said, adding the delay was on the part of the government, where 190 files were pending.
Denying media reports that the conference discussed a ten-fold salary hike for judges of the Supreme Court and high courts, Justice Balakrishnan said: “We did not discuss any salary hike. It is for the government to consider.”