NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday said it had no proposal to provide caste-based reservation in the higher judiciary, but the issue would have to be looked into at some point in future.
“There is no proposal being considered now to amend the Constitution to allow reservation in the higher judiciary but the issue needs to be looked into at some point of time,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar said in the Lok Sabha. He said the Centre had requested High Courts Chief Justices to give due consideration to people from OBCs, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, minorities and women while sending proposals for the appointment of judges.
The minister said the government had received suggestions from various quarters for providing reservation in the higher judiciary by amending the Constitution.
Prasad said the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts are made under Articles 124 and 217 of the Constitution and they do not provide for reservation for any caste or class of persons.Under Article 235 of the Constitution, the administrative control over the members of district and subordinate judiciary in the states is vested with the High Court concerned, he added. “Kabhi vichar karna padega (we’ll have to think about it at some point of time),” the minister said when asked whether there was a need for reservation. Prasad also referred to the Supreme Court quashing the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) legislation passed by Parliament and said the government would try to move forward.
Responding to another query, the minister said there were around 4,400 vacancies of the 20,000 sanctioned posts in the subordinate judiciary.