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‘Strength of Supreme Court Judges’

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    6th Aug, 2019

Cabinet has approved increasing strength of Supreme Court judges from 31 to 34. It will require amendments in Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act.

Context

Cabinet has approved increasing strength of Supreme Court judges from 31 to 34. It will require amendments in Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act.

Need of amendment

  • Lots of cases are pending in the Supreme Court.
  • More judges needed to run court more efficiently and effectively.
  • To keep pace with the rate of institution by expediting disposal of cases.
  • 5-judge Constitution benches for substantial questions of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution were not being formed due to paucity of judges.

Constitutional Provisions

The Supreme Court of India was inaugurated on January 28, 1950. It succeeded the Federal Court of India, established under the Government of India Act of 1935.

Organisation of Supreme Court

  • Originally the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956 provided for a maximum of 10 judges (excluding the CJI).
  • The Parliament then increased this number progressively to 13 in 1960, 17 in 1977 and 26 in 1988.
  • Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 2009 further augmented the strength of the court to 31, including the CJI, which is the current strength.

Appointment of Judges

The Chief Justice of India and the Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President under Article 124 of the Constitution.

  • The judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the president.
  • The chief justice is appointed by the president after consultation with such judges of the Supreme Court and high courts as he deems necessary.
  • The other judges are appointed by president after consultation with the chief justice and such other judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts as he deems necessary.

Qualifications of Judges

A person to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court should have the following qualifications:

  1. He should be a citizen of India.
  2. (a) He should have been a judge of a High Court (or high courts in succession) for 5 years; or (b) He should have been an advocate of a High Court (or High Courts in succession) for 10 years; or (c) He should be a distinguished jurist in the opinion of the president.
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