We are quite aware of the extremely long time it takes to resolve cases filed in High Courts across the country. One of the few reasons behind such a long delay is that many Courts are working on 50% of the sanctioned capacity of appointing Judicial Officers / Judges. As a result, a long list of pending cases in the High Courts is carried forward year after year.
During a discussion regarding the Crisis Situation in High Courts on the 19th August 2021, the Central Government had said that there was a long delay in the Collegium of the High Courts in recommending names for the appointment of Judges to which the Supreme Court had replied that if the Collegium re-iterated its recommendations unanimously, the Apex Court shall clear the list within three to four weeks’ time.
A collegium headed Chief Justice of India N V Ramana has, in less than the promised time, elevated 9 Judges which took oath on the 31st August. Next day on the 1st September, again a three – member Collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India N V Ramana recommended a list of Sixty – Eight (68) names out of the 112 names picked out by the Supreme Court. In the first time of the Judicial history of India, has the Apex Court recommended so may names altogether. 10 out of these 68 Judges are Women Judges. Apart from these 68 names, the Collegium is seeking details of another 16 names that are considered in the latest round.
As on the 1st September 2021, the Department of Justice has stated that in the 25 High Courts across the country, there are 465 vacancies consisting of 184 vacancies for Additional Judges and 281 for permanent Judges. However, the total number of sanctioned strength comes to 1098 Judges. Of the 68, 44 members are recommended to be elevated from the Bar and 24 are Judicial Officers.
Considering the vacancies in various High Courts, 1 names was recommended for appointment to the Madhya Pradesh High Court, 2 were recommended for Chhattisgarh High Court, 4 each for Madras and also Punjab and Haryana High Courts, 5 each for Jharkhand and Gauhati High Courts, 6 each for Rajasthan and Calcutta High Courts, 8 for Kerala High Court and 16 names for Allahabad High Court. And on the 17th August, the Collegium had cleared 7 names to be elevated to the Telangana High Court. The Allahabad High Court had accounted for 68 vacancies.