The Supreme Court, collegium headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi held six meetings in 30 days to send proposals to the Centre for the appointment of nine chief justices and 29 judges to various high courts.
This, apart from recommending and getting four Supreme Court judges. All of this indicates a clear urgency to fill judicial vacancies under Chief Justice Gogoi. This is much needed given the high pendency of cases that the judiciary is grappling with.
According to the National Judicial Data Grid, there are 4.3 million cases pending in the 24 high courts. This is compounded by the fact that as of September 427 judges’ vacancies existed across the high courts.
The situation is worse further down the judicial ladder with 5,223 vacancies in the trial courts. In fact, this scenario has forced the Supreme Court to warn the high courts and state governments that if they fail to fill up vacancies in the lower judiciary, it would go for centralised recruitment.
The huge pendency and slow pace of disposal of cases undermine faith in the judiciary, which remains the last hope for the aggrieved. Thus, CJI Gogoi’s attention to the matter is most necessary. That said, government too would do well to cooperate with the apex court and facilitate the appointment of judges.
The to-and-fro previously witnessed between the Supreme Court and the Centre over recommendations for judges needs to be avoided with any reservations on anyone’s part being sorted out smoothly. For the sake of integrity of the judiciary, all vacancies must be filled quickly and pendency attacked vigorously.>