Chief Justices, CMs Agree to Hire Retired Judges Now
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