Delhi HC expresses concern over declining strength of its judges
According to a May 2018 HT report, the Delhi high court has been functioning with just a little over 30 judges against the sanctioned strength of 60.delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2018 12:59 IST
The Delhi high court on Monday said that it has been working late nights as the recent retirement of some of its judges had impacted its strength, thereby increasing the workload.
“You do not know how we have been working. We have been going late at night. We do not even have time to read the judgments once we have dictated them,” acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal said.
“After the two recent retirements in May and June this year, the number of division benches was reduced by one. After the next retirement, the number of division benches will further go down.,” said a bench of justice Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar.
In May, HT had reported about the dearth in the number of judges and how the court has been functioning with just a little over 30 judges against the sanctioned strength of 60.
The report had also mentioned how the Delhi high court has been functioning with an acting chief justice for more than a year now and how there would be only 33 judges at the end of August.
The court’s remarks came while hearing a matter that has been pending since 2016. The matter pertains to a plea by a doctor where he had challenged the clearance given to a drug company. A special leave petition (SLP) was filed in the SC in this matter where it was contended that the matter was heard 24 times but it was not decided.
Senior advocate Kirti Uppal, who is also the counsel for one of the parties in the above-mentioned case, informed the Delhi high court that he had raised the issue of shortage of judges before the apex court and said that matters were getting delayed due the continuous retirements and non-appointments of judges.
Later speaking to HT, Uppal said that at a time when the division benches are shrinking and number of judges are also decreasing, how we can expect the courts to function properly.
First Published: Jul 17, 2018 12:57 IST