More than 5,000 positions of judicial officers in district and subordinate courts are lying vacant, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Wednesday in Lok Sabha as he emphasised the need for setting up all-India judicial services. The sanctioned strength of the judicial officers in district and subordinate courts was 22,644 as on September 30, 2018, the minister said citing information provided by the high courts and respective state governments.
“The number of judicial officers in position and vacant posts is 17,509 and 5,135, respectively,” he told Lok Sabha during the Question Hour. The Minister said that time has come for setting up all-India judicial services and the examinations can be conducted by the UPSC. While making it clear that such services would not encroach on the powers of the states, Prasad said discussions are going on the issue.
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The selection and appointment of judges in subordinate courts is the responsibility of the high courts and state governments concerned. The government has been pitching for creation of an all-India judicial services to appoint people in lower judiciary.
In August 2018, the minister wrote to all Chief Justices of high court to monitor the status of vacancies regularly and ensure proper coordination with the state Public Service Commission to fill up vacant posts, as per a written reply. The minister also said that time has come for establishing National Judicial Commission in all seriousness.