5L Cases Pending in HCs, SC Set to Dismiss Retired Judges | India News
NEW DELHI: On Thursday, the Supreme Court decided in principle to use the never-used constitutional provision to engage retired superior court judges to address the huge slope in the HCs and asked the Center why it had more than 45 recommended names for the appointment as HC judges at a time when vacancies had reached 40% of the sanctioned endowment.
Given the processing of cases in the HCs that reaches half a million, a bank of the Chief Justice SA Bobde and the judges Sanjay K Kaul and Surya Kant requested responses from the HCs on the elaboration of standard operating procedures to revoke the judges of HC withdrawn under article 224A of the Constitution.
The CV said that the exercise (seeking responses from HCs on framing SOPs to remove retired HC judges) will be completed on April 8, the next hearing date.
Article 224A establishes: “The president of the Supreme Court of a HC of any state may, at any time, with the prior consent of the president, request any person who has held the position of judge of that court or of any other higher court to sit and act as a judge of the superior court of that state. ”
The CJI-led court said that since retired judges would have a specific mandate to adjudicate old cases and would be considered the youngest in the HC hierarchy, it would not cause heartburn among sitting judges.
“It is not that the regular appointment of judges is paralyzed, slowed down or replaced by resorting to Article 224A to address the process, which has crossed manageable limits. There are cases pending for 25 to 30 years in some CS and that cause all kinds of problems in the administration of justice. Judges who have retired after spending 15 to 20 years in the CS would be eminently suited to try old cases. Once the process is resolved, his mandate may come to an end, ”said the CJI.
There have been precedents of calling retired judges to work as SC judges under Article 128 of the Constitution, but that practice fell into disuse after 1975. However, no retired HC judge was called up for another entry.
Directing its attention to the huge vacancy of 420 positions in the authorized pool of 1,080 judges in the HC, the court asked Attorney General KK Vengupal to explain on April 8 why the government had more than 45 names recommended for appointment as judges in several HCs for a period ranging from 6 to 14 months and do not send them to the SC collegiate for scrutiny of their suitability.
Judge Kaul said the government was also sitting on 10 names, approved by the SC college for appointment as HC judges, for periods ranging from 7 to 19 months. He said that the SC college recommendation for the appointment of five defenders as judges of the Calcutta HC was sent to the government on July 25, 2019, and these had not yet been approved. Similarly, the name of an authorized defender for appointment as judge of J&K HC has been pending for 17 months and four names for the Delhi HC approved by the college have been pending for seven months at the Center.