Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 25
Frowning upon the Government sitting over dozens of names recommended by the Collegium for appointment as judges in various high courts, the Supreme Court on Thursday said the Ministry of Law and Justice should process the Collegium’s recommendations within a reasonable time frame.
During hearing on a PIL by ‘Lok Prahari’ seeking appointment of retired judges to clear the backlog of cases, a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde hinted at issuing guidelines for appointment of ad hoc judges to reduce pendency.
The court’s comments assume significance as more than 400 posts of judges out of the total 1,079 posts in high courts were vacant.
Lamenting that names sent by the Collegium had not been responded to by the Ministry of Law and Justice for more than six months, the Bench asked Attorney General KK Venugopal to inform it about the status of recommendations for appointment of high court judges made by the Collegium.
“There are 45 names which have been recommended by the high courts but not sent to the Collegium. There are names we have cleared but the Law Ministry has not cleared yet,” the top court said.
As Supreme Court Bar Association President and senior counsel Vikas Singh urged the Bench to consider lawyers practising in the top court while making recommendations for judicial appointments, the Bench said bar bodies of high courts were opposed to it.
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