Judiciary Watch: Madras High Court gets 16 new judges

As many as sixteen new judges have been appointed to the Madras High Court this month, taking its working strength to 54, as against an approved strength of 75.

Nine of the persons appointed as permanent judges are from the Bar namely V Parthiban, R Subramanian, M Govindaraj, M Sundar, R Suresh Kumar, J Nisha Banu, MS Ramesh, SM Subramaniam, and Anita Sumanth. N Authinathan, who was sworn in earlier last month, is a retired district judge.

Also among the new appointees are Madras High Court Registrar General T Ravindran, AM Basheer Ahmad, S Baskaran, P Velmurugan, G Jayachandran and CV Karthikeyan.

Elsewhere, Justices Jaishree Thakur and AS Grewal have been transferred from the Rajasthan High Court to the Punjab & Haryana High Court. Additional judge of the Manipur High Court, S Serto, has been transferred to the Gauhati High Court.

The High Courts of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Kerala saw the appointment of two, three and five additional judges respectively. Two additional judges of the Jharkhand High Court – R Mukhopadhyay and RN Verma JJ. – were appointed as permanent judges.

The total number of vacancies across the high courts now stands at 464, as against an approved strength of 1079. Three High Courts have more than half of their posts lying vacant. They are the Karnataka High Court, the Allahabad High Court and the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad.

Below is a list of high courts with the most vacancies:

High Court No. of vacancies % of vacant posts
AP & Telangana 38 62.3
Karnataka 36 58.06
Allahabad 83 51.9
Chhattisgarh 11 50
Patna 26 49.05

The number of vacancies will increase with the impending retirement of four high court judges this month. Two of these are Chief Justices of the Jharkhand and Patna High Courts, Virender Singh and Iqbal Ansari JJ.

The other two due to retire are GB Shah J. of the Gujarat High Court and H Billappa J. of the Karnataka High Court.

Over at the Supreme Court of India, the number of vacancies will go up to five, with the retirement of Gopala Gowda and C Nagappan JJ. this week.

Here is a list of vacancies across all High Courts: