The Centre has cleared seven out of 106 names for judgeships in higher judiciary and one for the appointment as the Chief Justice of a High Court out of nine names recommended by the Supreme Court collegium recently, Chief Justice N V Ramana said on Saturday.
While speaking at a function here, the CJI, who sought “cooperation and support” from the Centre, said that he has been assured of early clearance of the names by Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.
“The government has cleared some of them (names for judgeship) and the Hon’ble Law Minister has assured that the rest of the things will come in one or two days. I thank the government for clearing these vacancies and giving quick access to justice to the people,” the CJI said at an event here.
Besides recommending an unprecedented nine names for judgeships in the apex court in one go on August 17, which was swiftly cleared by the Centre, Justice Ramana has been acting proactively to fill up huge vacancies in high courts by recommending the names for 106 judges and nine new chief justices in different high courts.
“My companion judges and I have attempted to enable litigants to get faster justice. I want to state that, since May onwards, my team so far has recommended the appointment of 106 judges and nine new Chief Justices to various High Courts.
“The government has cleared seven names out of the 106 judges and one out of the nine for chief justices, so far. I expect that the government will clear the rest of the names very soon. These appointments will take care of pendency to some extent. I seek the cooperation and support of the Government to enable access to justice and to strengthen democracy,” he said.
Justice Ramana said that the clearance of names by the Centre would take care of the pendency of cases to “some extent” in high courts.
The CJI, who is also the Patron-in-chief of the National Legal Services Authority, was speaking at the launch of the six-week-long ‘The Pan India Legal Awareness and Outreach Campaign’ by NALSA at Vigyan Bhavan that was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.
Recently on September 16, the three-member collegium, of which Justices U U Lalit and A M Khanwilkar, had recommended to the Centre eight names of judges for elevation as chief justices in as many high courts.
It had also recommended the transfer of five sitting CJs of high courts.
The 25 high courts in the country have a combined sanctioned strength of 1,080 judges and as on May 1, 2021, they were functioning with 420 judges only.
Prior to this, the collegiums had taken a historic decision to recommend 68 names in one go for judgeships in 12 high courts across the country.