New Delhi, December 15
Linking the pendency of around 5 crore cases with the lack of adequate number of judges, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said unless a new judicial appointment system was put in place, the issue of judicial vacancies would continue to crop up.
“As long as a new system (for appointment of judges) is not created , the issue of vacant posts will continue to crop up,” the Law Minister said.
Responding to a question from Congress member Rajeev Shukla during question hour in the Rajya Sabha, Rijiju noted that the number of pending cases across the country was touching the 5-crore mark and the main reason behind the huge pendency of cases was the lack of adequate number of judges.
Rijiu said, “At this moment, the government has very limited power with regard to filling the vacancies of judges. Other than the names sent by the Collegium, the government has no right to propose any name.”
Providing fresh fodder to the Central government’s ongoing turf war with the Supreme Court, Rijiju once again raised the issue of the government’s “limited role” in the appointment of judges.
“The sense of the people of the country and sense of Parliament is not reflected in the system (of appointment of judges),” Rijiju said.
Lamenting that the NJAC Act unanimously passed by Parliament in 2014 was struck down by a Constitution Bench of the SC, Rijiju said the top court’s step had been disapproved of by a cross-section of people, including jurists.
On DMK MP Tiruchi Siva’s question about the absence of reservation in the judiciary, Rijiju said the government in its communication to High Court Chief Justice had urged that while sending names for appointment of judges, people belonging to underprivileged communities should be given preference.
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