Govt Got Moving On Filling Up Court Vacancies Early This Month
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government, it has emerged now, decided early this month to expedite the process of filling up of vacancies of superior judiciary.
Having received over 100 names to be recommended as HC judges till early April — some more have come since — thelawministrywasfacedwithaquestion: whether to await the finalisation of aMemorandumof Procedure(MoP) or process the names forwarded by various high courts as per the existing MoP. The new MoP prepared by the government for the selection of judges is pending with the Supreme Court.
The ministry took up the issue with the PMO, which granted its assent in the second week ended April 9 to go ahead as per the existing MoP and not delay the process for the selection of LAW MINISTRY OFFICIAL HC judges. It promptly initiated the process and sent the names to the IntelligenceBureauseekingreportson the candidates.
“The process was already taken up in the second week of April as a decision at the highest level was taken not to drag feet on the filling up of vacancies in superior judiciary,” a senior govern- ment official told ET, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “So much so that the ministry is working parallel with the IB and state high courts.”
All these have happened before the impassioned speech on Sunday by Chief Justiceof IndiaTSThakur,seeking to increase the number of judges to handle an “avalanche” of litigations that the judiciary is facing. Following the CJI’s emotionally charged appeal, thegovernmentonMondayprepareda report to ascertain the progress of the recommendations. As per it, the law ministry has so far received 156 names, including those on which it has set the processinmotion,fromthecollegiums at 10 HCs.
Of these, 40 names were received by the law ministry after February 15. In March,68morewerereceived.InApril, 48 names were sent by high court chief justices for elevation of which 40 were received on April 21 and 4 on April 25.
WORKING AT FAST PACE