Two Punjab and Haryana high court judges retired here on Friday, bringing down the strength of judges to 50.
Full-court reference was held in honour of justice MS Chauhan and justice Navita Singh, which was presided over by acting chief justice SJ Vazifdar.
The high court has a sanctioned strength of 85 judges. However, it hovers around 55. For over a year now, the high court does not have a regular chief justice.
Justice Vazifdar, who joined from the Bombay high court in December 2014, is functioning as the acting chief justice. Earlier, justice Ashutosh Mohunta (retired) was functioning as the acting chief justice since July 2014, after then chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was transferred to the Madras high court.
Not only the elevation of judges to the chief justice level in high courts, but even fresh appointments were stuck because of the logjam over the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) law. With the Supreme Court scrapping the NJAC law, it is being hoped that the process would start soon.
The last appointment of a judge in the high court was that of justice Ramendra Jain in April this year. However, five judges have retired of late, and a few more are slated for early next year.