The Supreme Court Collegium is due to meet today with a view to considering recommendations for elevation of judges to the high courts, reports DNA.
The three seniormost judges of the apex court – Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi – will decide on around 120 pending recommendations, 58 of which are fresh cases, and 60-odd files pertain to making additional judges permanent.
The report also suggests that the larger Collegium – also comprising Justices Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph – will sit to consider elevations to the Supreme Court, which currently has six vacancies.
There a total of 392 vacancies across the 24 high courts in the country, as against a sanctioned strength of 1079 judges. Some high courts – the Karnataka High Court in particular – are facing an acute shortage of judges, as has been pointed out by the Bar. Two other high courts – those of Calcutta and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh – are also functioning at less than half their sanctioned capacity.
According to the report, the Collegium will consider recommendations for elevation of judges to the Madras High Court, Karnataka High Court, Gujarat High Court, Calcutta High Court, Bombay High Court, Madhya Pradesh High Court and Gauhati High Court.
The tussle between the judiciary and the executive over the Memorandum of Procedure had put a spanner in the works of the process of appointment of judges. A Division Bench of the apex court had even issued notice to the Centre in a PIL filed to expedite the process. However, a three-judge Bench later set aside this order.
For a brief period, Justice Chelameswar did not see eye-to-eye with his brother judges, and had refused to attend Collegium deliberations.
However, these kinks seem to have been straightened out now, and appointments have been taking place regularly. And ever since the Supreme Court Collegium’s decision to publish their deliberations online, judges have been appointed to the High Courts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Tripura and Gauhati, without the Centre dragging its feet.
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