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Govt sitting on judge picks for 1.5 years, says SC on HC vacancies | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The

Supreme Court

on Wednesday slammed the

Centre

for chronic delay in processing names sent by high courts and forwarding them to the SC collegium for recommending suitable ones for appointment as judges of HCs, which are functioning with 40% vacancies even while groaning under huge pendency.

The court pointed out instances of the government sitting over names recommended by the SC collegium for appointment as HC judges for the last one and a half years.

A bench of CJI S A Bobde and Justices

Sanjay Kishan Kaul

and

Sanjeev Khanna

found that the 25 HCs had a sanctioned strength of 1,080 judges, but as many as 417 posts were lying vacant (39%). What troubled the bench was the fact that as many as 103 names were proposed by the HCs and were lying with the Centre.

Justice Kaul, who had prepared a chart showing the vacancies and pin-pointed the reasons for delay, told attorney general

K K Venugopal

that unless the government acted within a timeframe and processed the proposals sent by the HCs and forwarded them to the SC collegium for consideration, followed by recommendation of

suitable people

for appointment, the problem of delay in justice dispensation in HCs would not be solved.

The SC said the Centre habitually sat over names recommended by the SC collegium, causing uncertainty in the minds of people whose names were sent for appointment as HC judges. The bench said it would be better to fix the timeframe for completion of each component of the judge appointment process and sought the Centre’s response in two weeks.

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