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Chief Justice to look into issue of ‘opaque’ system of judges appointment

“We will sort it out,” said Chief Justice of India T S Thakur on Saturday in the wake of a senior Supreme Court judge’s stunning attack on the functioning of the collegium system in selection of judges.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2016 01:10 IST
CJI,SC collegium,Justice Chelameswar
Justice Chelameswar refused to attend any of the collegium meetings and wrote a three-page letter to the Chief Justice of India claiming there was a lack of transparency in the system. (HT File Photo)

Chief Justice of India TS Thakur reiterated on Saturday the need to appoint more judges to deal with the pending cases at trial courts and appellate courts and hoped to sort out issues raised by Justice Chelameswar, the fifth senior-most judge.

Filling up of “proper number of judges” at the courts has not kept pace with the increasing number of cases, said the CJI.

His comment came after Justice Chelameswar refused to attend the meeting of the collegiums on Thursday, hinting at a potential delay in the appointment of high court judges.

Justice Chelameswar is part of the five-member collegium headed by the CJI and justice AR Dave, justice JS Khehar and justice Dipak Misra as other members.

Read | ‘Revolt’ in SC collegium: Senior judge boycotts meet over lack of transparency

At the fourth annual convocation ceremony of the National Law University here, Chief Justice Thakur said, “Speedy trial is a fundamental right. The adjudicatory process in the courts today is taking unduly long time, which more often than not defeats the right itself.

“But unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, and a major reason is, as we all know, the lack of proper number of judges that are required. This is not happening at the trial level or at the appellate level. This needs to be addressed,” he added.

He urged young lawyers to face the challenges posed in today’s world for the “downtrodden” and steer the dynamics of change by being an instrument of constitutional values.

Read | Filling vacancies in judiciary a national challenge, says CJI

CJI Thakur has been vocal about the shortage of judges. He had earlier said the country needed to double the number of judges from its current strength of 21,000.

At an event here earlier this year, the CJI broke down and criticised successive governments for not increasing the number of judges to a number sufficient to deal with the pending cases.

The CJI had last month said he was disappointed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not mentioning the problem of judicial appointments in his Independence Day speech.

Read more | Collegium system is a lesser evil than the NJAC

First Published: Sep 03, 2016 20:13 IST