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Shortage of Judges in Indian Courts

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    29th Nov, 2018

The Supreme Court pulled up various State governments and the administrative side of the High Courts for delay in filling vacancies in subordinate judicial services.

Issue

Context:

  • The Supreme Court pulled up various State governments and the administrative side of the High Courts for delay in filling vacancies in subordinate judicial services.
  • India has 19 judges per 10 lakh people on an average, according to a Law Ministry data which also states that the judiciary faces a combined shortage of over 6,000 judges, including over 5,000 in the lower courts itself.


    Background:

    • According to the Constitution, district judges are appointed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court.
    • Other subordinate judicial officers are appointed as per rules framed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court and the State Public Service Commission.
    • There is not much change since 1987 when the Law Commission had recommended increase in the number of judges from 10 judges per 10 lakh people to 50.
    • The Supreme Court had laid down guidelines in 2007 for making appointments in the lower judiciary within a set time frame.
    • A study released last year by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy revealed that the recruitment cycle in most States far exceeded the time limit prescribed by the Supreme Court. This time limit is 153 days for a two-tier recruitment process and 273 days for a three-tier process.
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