Chief Jus­tices, CMs Agree to Hire Re­tired Judges Now

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Raghav.Ohri @times­group.com

New Delhi: In a first, the Chief Jus­tices and chief min­is­ters (CMs) have mu­tu­ally agreed to ap­point re­tired High Court Judges to weed out in­creas­ing back­log in High Courts.

The de­ci­sion was taken on Sun­day at the three-day Chief Jus­tices Con­fer­ence at­tended by CMs. A pro­posal was mooted to in­voke an ar­ti­cle in the Con­sti­tu­tion which pro­vides for ap­point­ment of re­tired judges as HC judges for weed­ing out ail­ing cases. Sources told ET that an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of CMs raised their hands to vote in favour of the pro­posal to in­voke the said Ar­ti­cle which al­lows ap­point­ment of re­tired HC judges. The de­ci­sion has been taken to re­duce pen­dency and tackle the deficit of High Court Judges.

As per Ar­ti­cle 224-A of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the col­legiumChief Jus­tice and two se­nior Judges of a HC can rec­om­mended the name of a re­tired High Court Judge for ap­point­ment as “ad­di­tional” High Court Judge. The pro­ce­dure for his (retd Judge) ap­point­ment will re­main the same for that of ap­point­ment of a HC Judge. The name can only be rec­om­mended af­ter prior con­sent of the said HC Judge is taken by the col­legium of a State. And the ap­point­ment will be as­sumed fi­nal only af­ter the Pres­i­dent of In­dia grants his as­sent.

ET spoke to two Chief Jus­tices who con­firmed the de­vel­op­ment. “Chief Min­is­ters have agreed in prin­ci­ple to this ar­range­ment. We (CJs) will soon start the ex­er­cise and rec­om­mend the names”, said a Chief Jus­tice.

An­other Chief Jus­tice, re­quest­ing anonymity, told ET “re­tired judges who have re­mained ex­perts in a said field can be looked at to de­cide spe­cific cases which have been hang­ing for years. The en­deavor is to tackle the in­creas­ing back­log of cases in view of short­age of Judges”. The re­tired HC Judge, whose re­tire­ment age is 62 years, will get a max­i­mum of three years of “ad­di­tional” ten­ure. i.e he will re­tire at 65.

The re­tired HC Judge, whose re­tire­ment age is 62 years, will get a max­i­mum of three years of “ad­di­tional” ten­ure

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