New Delhi: In its two meetings in a week, Supreme court The Collegium approved 56 names, including 36 judicial officers and 20 advocates, for appointment as judges of nine High Courts, out of which 35 names were approved. collegium at its meeting on Monday.
This is the second highest number of names accepted in a single sitting for appointment as court Judge during the tenure of chief Magistrate NV Ramana. On September 3 last year, the CJI-led three-member collegium had set a record by recommending the names of 65 persons to the Center for appointment as judges of 12 high courts, many of whom were affected by huge vacancies in the posts of judges. Even though they are still groaning under heavy pending cases.
The collegium of CJI and Justices UU Lalit and Justices AM Khanwilkar, who will retire on July 29, on Monday recommended the names of six advocates for appointment as judges of the Telangana HC, which currently has 15 vacancies. It also recommended the names of 13 advocates for appointment as judges of Punjab. Haryana High CourtIn which the posts of 38 judges are vacant.
The collegium selected nine judicial officers for appointment as judges of the Calcutta HC, which has 26 vacancies. With the recommendation to appoint two judicial officers as judges in the Gauhati High Court, it will acquire the full strength of 24 judges.
If the Center accepts the collegium’s recommendations, the Orissa HC, which has 11 vacancies, will get a lawyer and two judicial officers as judges. Two judicial officers in Himachal Pradesh were also recommended for appointment as High Court judges, and if they are appointed, the vacancies in the High Court will be reduced to six.
As of July 1, about 381 posts of judges are vacant in 25 high courts, with the sanctioned strength of 1,108 judges. The vacancy which was touching 50 per cent in April last year has been reduced to 34 per cent in the last one and a half years.
The collegium, in its last meeting on July 20, had recommended the names of 21 judicial officers for appointment as judges of the three high courts. Of the seven names recommended for the Allahabad High Court, five were repetitions of earlier recommendations. There is a huge vacancy of 67 posts of judges in Allahabad HC. It had also recommended seven advocates and five judicial officers for appointment as judges of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka HCs respectively.