[2/4, 12:36] Sekarreporter 1:
Senior advt p willson —-My speech today on filing up of 401 vacancies in various High Courts in Rajyasabha in Zero Hour and in particular the standoff between Judiciary and executive and calling upon PM Cabinet Ministers and Law Minister to clear 213 recommendations sent by SC Thank you Hon’ble Chairman.
I rise to bring to the kind attention of the Minister for Law and Justice through this August House that an alarming emergency prevails in appointments of High Court Judges. Out of 1079 sanctioned posts of High Court judges in 25 High Courts, there are 401 vacancies. Nearly 1/3rd of sanctioned strength is allowed to lie vacant and the casualty is the citizens of this country. The time has come for Parliament to resolve the standoff between the Executive and Judiciary in the deadlock in the appointment of High court judges to various High Courts with in a time limit.
Sir, most High Courts are functioning with only 50% of their sanctioned strength. Shockingly, it has recently come to light that there are about 213 names recommended for appointment by the collegium of the Supreme Court, but the Government is simply sitting over these recommendations without getting the approval of the Hon’ble President for months together for reasons best known to it. Such an inordinate delay in the processing of names recommended by the Supreme Court collegium directly affects the administration of justice, which is a sovereign function. After NJAC case, the number of judges appointed to the High Courts has been steadily decreasing. In 2017, 115 judges were appointed, in 2018, 108 judges were appointed and in the year 2019, a mere 65 judges were appointed to the High Court. However, simultaneously, due to retirements and elevations, the vacancies continue to increase. Therefore, in my view, if this situation continues, the functioning of the High Courts throughout the country will be totally crippled, which does not benefit national interest.
Sir, The recommendations sent by the Chief Justices of various High Courts are sat over by the Central Government for months together without out forwarding its recommendations to the collegium of Supreme Court. Likewise the recommendations sent by collegium of Supreme Court are not processed within reasonable time by the Central Government so as to obtain President’s approval. Sir The processing of these recommendations should happen within a clear, mandatory time frame. Sometime the recommendations sent by Chief Justices of High Court are returned by the Central Government again and again without any valid reasons.
Sir, access to Justice is an inalienable fundamental right of citizens. This right is defeated if our higher judiciary is crippled due to vacancies. People should not lose faith in the judiciary and adopt extra constitutional methods due to the delay in disposal of cases. We can see disputes relating to partition among family members pending for 20 – 30 years; divorce and maintenance matters between husband and wife pending in appeals for 10-15 years and not coming to an end. Due to lack of Judges to hear the criminal appeals of the convicts, there is an overcrowding of jails; Arbitration and Commercial matters which are pending on appeals for hearing for want of judges directly affect the economy and paralyse the growth and development of our nation. The inordinate delay in approving the appointments will have a direct impact on the timely delivery of justice by the High Courts which should not allowed to happen by this Parliament.
Therefore, I request the Hon. Prime Minister, Hon’ble Minister for Law and Justice and Cabinet Ministers through this August House to take a decision on the 213 recommendations cleared by the collegium of the Supreme Court within a reasonable time period, finalise the Memorandum of Procedure with the Supreme Court and ensure that there is a mandatory time frame in the MOP for each stage of the appointment process. Thank you, Chairman sir.
[2/4, 12:50] Sekarreporter 1: My speech today on filing up of 401 vacancies in various High Courts in Rajyasabha in Zero Hour and in particular the standoff between Judiciary and executive and calling upon PM Cabinet Ministers and Law Minister to clear 213 recommendations sent by SC