CJI, government argue over judges appointment

CJI TS Thakur says around 500 judges posts are lying vacant in courts, but Law Minister ‘respectfully disagrees’

Chief Justice of India TS Thakur with Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at the All India Conference of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in New Delhi on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Chief Justice of India TS Thakur with Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at the All India Conference of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in New Delhi on Saturday. Pic/PTI

New Delhi: Differences between judiciary and government continued to be aired in the open with Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on Saturday saying there is shortage of judges in high courts and tribunals requiring government intervention, a view Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad strongly disagreed with.

“Around 500 judges posts are vacant in the high courts. They should be working on Saturday, but they are not. At present, there are several vacant courtrooms in India but no judges available. A large number of proposals are still pending and hope the government will intervene to end this crisis,” Justice Thakur said.

Disagreeing with the CJI, the Law Minister said, “We respectfully disagree with him (CJI). This year we have made 120 appointments. The second highest of 121 is of 2013. Since 1990 there have been only 80 appointments. Around 5,000 vacancies are there in the lower judiciary where the gove­rnment has no role to play. That is something only for the judiciary to take care.”

The CJI added that “manpower deficit” was also present in the tribunals.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said,

“All including judiciary must recognise there is ‘lakshman rekha’ and be ready for introspection.” However, CJI JS Khehar replied to Rohatgi saying that the judiciary has “always kept to lakshman rekha by upholding the Constitution’s ethos”.

5k
No. of vacancies in the lower judiciary

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