After CJI Ramana’s intervention, Telangana HC to get 18 more judges
New Delhi: An intervention from Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana has cleared the decks for increasing the number of judges in the Telangana high court by around 75% of its sanctioned strength. The high court is set to have 42 judges after an increase of 18 judges from the total sanctioned strength of 24, according to people familiar with the development.
The proposal to increase the strength was pending since February 2019 when the chief justice of the Telangana high court had written to the Union minister of law and justice. The recommendation was also endorsed by the governor and chief minister of the state.
However, in November 2019, the ministry wrote back to the high court chief justice, stating that preference should be given to filling-up the existing vacancies.
The issue remained hanging fire until justice Ramana took the helm in the last week of April this year and took stock of all pending issues pertaining to pendency in the judiciary.
Last month, justice Ramana also took up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the minister of law and justice host of issues concerning judiciary that included the request of the Telangana high court, according to people cited above.
On May 27, the CJI expedited the matter by writing to Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, highlighting that the proposal for hike in sanctioned bench strength from 24 to 42 has been pending since February 2019.
The letter pointed out that the pendency in the high court has gone up to 237,000 cases, requiring immediate attention.
As per the people mentioned above, the CJI opined that the current strength, even after all the vacancies are filled, was highly inadequate to address the pendency.
Quoting from earlier communications, the CJI affirmed that the necessary infrastructure was in place to accommodate 42 judges in the Telangana high court.
Justice Ramana asked the Union government to accede to the request made by the high court in the interest of administration of justice.
The ministry swung into action after the CJI’s letter and conveyed to justice Ramana the government’s acceptance to the proposal on June 7.
The CJI, those in the know of development said, gave his final approval to the proposed hike on Tuesday, paving the way for issuance of a notification in this regard by the law ministry. The notification is likely to be issued soon.
As on June 1, Telangana high court had a vacancy of 10 judges out of 24.