The Modi government has virtually rejected the claim of Chief Justice of India TS Thakur that 40,000 more judges were needed to obliterate over three crore pending cases.
Law minister V Sadananda Gowda newindianexpress
The Centre said that CJI’s claims are not based on any scientific research. However, it said that the government has speeded up the efforts to fill up vacancies in Supreme Court and the high courts.
PM Modi and Law minister V Sadananda Gowda kmhouseindia
Law minister V Sadananda Gowda said the 1987 Law Commission report, which the CJI referred to increase the judges’ strength, was based just on the opinion of experts and general public. ‘Since no scientific data is available till now, therefore we cannot say much about it,” Gowda said.
Gowda has also refuted the allegation that the Centre was delaying the appointment process and said names of four persons for appointment as judges of the SC was cleared within six days. He said the Centre would soon clear names of 170 judges for appointment in HCs.
He also said the judges’ sanctioned strength in HCs has risen from 906 on June 1, 2014 to 1065. For subordinate courts, it is now 20,502 from 17,715 at the end of 2012.
Gowda said the Centre is also considering to bring a National Litigation Policy (NLP). The NLP may involve a mechanism in which unnecessary litigation does not reach courts, and only those disputes which run contrary to the policy of the concerned department can reach the courts. The remaining all should be decided within the departments. Virtually breaking down in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on April 24, the CJI had lamented the government
‘s “inaction” in increasing the number of judges from the present 21,000 to 40,000 to handle the “avalanche” of litigations, saying, “you cannot shift the entire burden on the judiciary”.
Chief Justice TS Thakur gets teary over burden on Indian judiciary ibtimes
“Nothing has moved” since 1987 when the Law Commission had recommended increase in the number of judges from then 10 judges per 10 lakh people to 50, an unusually emotional Mr Thakur had said.
The Law Commission had in 1987 recommended that there should be 40 judges per million population. At present, total sanctioned strength of judges is 21,598, including 20,502 trial court judges, 1,065 HC judges and 31 Supreme Court judges.