NEW DELHI:Favouring time-bound appointments of judges as a norm rather than an exception, the Supreme Court on Friday said inordinate delays belie hopes of litigants. On Friday, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan expressed concern over the increasing vacancy of judges and inordinate delays at the level of the HC collegium and then by the executive in processing the appointments, while urging the stakeholders to improve the situation.
“Enormous delay in appointment of High Court judges not only frustrates the purpose and object for which Article 224(1) was brought into the Constitution but also belies the hope and trust of litigants who come to the courts seeking justice and early disposal of their cases,” the court observed. Citing a 1993 ruling, the bench maintained that the process of appointment must be initiated at least one month prior to the date of an anticipated vacancy.
“It is also seen that once the names are forwarded, they remain pending at the Executive level for an undue long time before they are sent to the Collegium of the Supreme Court for approval along with the inputs of the Executive. Even after the clearance of the names by the Collegium, these remain pending at the level of the Executive,” said the bench, mentioning how the government also sits on the names.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended 37 additional judges in five High Courts to be made permanent. Nine Judges will be from Allahabad HC, 10 judges from Rajasthan HC, five judges of Kerala HC, seven judges of Gujarat HC and six judges from Bombay HC.