Centre is giving top priority to filling up of existing vacancies of judges in all the Courts, Union Law and Justice Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said today.
There was a lull in filling the vacancies in higher judiciary for the last eight months, following Supreme Court striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, Gowda told reporters here.
As the preparation of new draft memorandum of procedures to the Collegium, as directed by the apex Court, will take time, the Government has received sanction for filling the vacancies on the basis of earlier memorandum, he said.
There are about 450 vacancies in various High Courts and a handful in Supreme Court, he said, adding, in the last four months, the government has appointed 51 new judges to High Courts and regularised the services of 87 judges, who were functioning on ad hoc basis.
The ministry had forwarded to the state chief ministers, for clearance about 200 names received for the post of High Court judges, he said.
On pendency of cases, Gowda said there were three crore cases pending in various courts, including 38 lakh in High Courts and 40,000 in Supreme Court and to clear the pending cases, the ministry has evolved alternative dispute resolution mechanisms like Lok Adalats.
Gowda hoped that around 1800 obsolete acts would be wiped out from the statute book in another four months.