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Vacancies In The Posts Of Judges In The Supreme Court, High Courts And Lower Courts

The Ministry of Law & Justice has released data which shows that there are 6 vacancies in the Supreme Court and 464 vacancies in the High Courts. The vacancies of Judicial Officers in District and Subordinate Courts is about 4998. It is stated that in All India Judges’ Association Case, the Supreme Court had directed, on a comparative assessment of the position in other countries, that there should be 50 judges for a million population in the country. However, presently, the Judge (based on sanctioned strength) : population ratio in the country works out to be 17.72 Judges/Judicial Officers per million population. The steps being taken by the Government to fill the vacancies is also briefly outlined.

A statement showing the approved strength, working strength and vacancies of Judges in the Supreme Court and High Courts as on 29.02.2016 is given at Annexure-I. The number of Judges of Supreme Court and High courts appointed from 1st January, 2015 till 13th April 2015 i.e. the date on which the Constitution(Ninety Ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 and the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 were brought into force is given at Annexure-II. With the coming into force of these Acts, all appointments of Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts through the Collegium process as laid down in the Memorandum of Procedure were stopped. However, with the revival of the Collegium system, the process of appointment of Judges has resumed. A Statement showing the sanctioned strength, working strength and vacancies of Judicial Officers in District and Subordinate Courts in the country as on 30.06.2015 is given at Annexure-III.

In All India Judges’ Association Case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its Judgement dated 21st March, 2002, on a comparative assessment of the position in other countries directed that there should be 50 judges for a million population in the country. Based on the population, as per census 2011 and sanctioned strength of judges in the Supreme Court and High courts as on 29.02.2016, and the sanctioned strength of Judges/Judicial Officers of District and Subordinate Courts as on 31.12.2015, the Judge population ratio in the country works out to be 17.72 Judges/Judicial Officers per million population.

The Supreme Court vide its order dated 16.10.2015 declared that the system of appointment of Judges to Supreme Court, and Chief Justices and Judges of High Court from one High Court to another as existing prior to Constitution (Ninety-Nineth Amendment ) Act, 2014 called the “Collegium System” to be operative. The Supreme Court simultaneously decided to consider introduction of appropriate measures, if any, for an improved working of the “Collegium System”. The Government of India submitted its suggestions subject to its reservation about the correctness of the Judgment. The Government has taken the stand that it reserves its liberty to take such action as it may decide fit. Further, the Parliament has the power within the parameters of the Constitution to govern the criteria and process for appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts.

The Supreme Court pronounced its Order on improvement in the “Collegium System” on 16.12.2015. Vide this order they have decided that the Government of India may finalize the existing Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) by supplementing it in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, and based on the unanimous view of the Collegium comprising the four senior-most puisne Judges of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has indicated broad categories under which existing MoP can be supplemented such as eligibility criteria, transparency in the appointment process, Secretariat and complaints etc. The Department of Justice is in the process of preparing a revised draft Memorandum of Procedure in consultation with the State Governments.

Annexure I – As on 29-02-2016

Sl. No. Name of the Court Approved Strength Working Strength Vacancies as per
Approved Strength
A. Supreme Court of India 31 25 06
B. High Court Pmt. Addl Total Pmt. Addl Total Pmt. Addl Total
1 Allahabad 76 84 160 65 07 72 11 77 88
2 High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad* 46 15 61 16 10 26 30 05 35
3 Bombay 71 23 94 38 22 60 33 01 34
4 Calcutta 45 13 58 21 22 43 24 -09 15
5 Chhattisgarh 17 05 22 03 06 09 14 -01 13
6 Delhi 45 15 60 34 05 39 11 10 21
7 Gauhati 18 06 24 08 07 15 10 -01 09
8 Gujarat 39 13 52 27 03 30 12 10 22
9 Himachal Pradesh 10 03 13 07 07 03 03 06
10 Jammu & Kashmir 13 04 17 08 01 09 05 03 08
11 Jharkhand 19 06 25 08 04 12 11 02 13
12 Karnataka 47 15 62 22 09 31 25 06 31
13 Kerala 27 11 38 19 16 35 08 -05 03
14 Madhya Pradesh 40 13 53 27 02 29 13 11 24
15 Madras 56 19 75 35 0 35 21 19 40
16 Manipur 04 01 05 04 0 04 0 01 01
17 Meghalaya 03 01 04 02 0 02 01 01 02
18 Orissa 20 07 27 15 06 21 05 01 06
19 Patna * 40 13 53 24 05 29 16 08 24
20 Punjab& Haryana * 64 21 85 37 11 48 27 10 37
21 Rajasthan 38 12 50 21 03 24 17 09 26
22 Sikkim 03 0 03 02 0 02 01 0 01
23 Tripura 04 0 04 04 0 04 0 0 0
24 Uttarakhand 09 02 11 06 0 06 03 02 05
Total 754 302 1056 453 139 592 301 163 464

Annexure II

Sl. No Name of the Court Judges appointed from 01.01.2015 till 13.04.2015
A. Supreme Court of India 01
     
B. HIGH COURT  
1. GAUHATI 05
2. ALLAHABAD 07
3. CALCUTTA 08
4. KERALA 07
5. SIKKIM 01
6. ORISSA 03
7. JHARKHAND 01
8. PATNA 02
9. PUNJAB &HARYANA 01
  TOTAL 35

Annexure III
(Position as on 30.06.2015)

Sr. No. Name of State / UT Total Sanctioned Strength Total Working Strength Vacancies
1 Arunachal Pradesh 17 15 2
2 Andhra Pradesh & Telengana 1034 812 222
3 Assam 420 307 113
4 Bihar 1727 997 730
5 Chandigarh 30 30 0
6 Chhattisgarh 356 296 60
7 Daman & Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli 7 6 1
8 Delhi 793 469 324
9 Goa 52 39 13
10 Gujarat 1914 1197 717
11 Haryana 644 478 166
12 Himachal Pradesh 146 137 9
13 Jammu and Kashmir 245 217 28
14 Jharkhand 590 368 222
15 Karnataka 1112 824 288
16 Kerala 456 419 37
17 Lakshadweep 3 3 0
18 Madhya Pradesh 1461 1234 227
19 Maharashtra 2088 1618 470
20 Manipur 41 32 9
21 Meghalaya 56 29 27
22 Mizoram 63 31 32
23 Nagaland 27 25 2
24 Odisha 694 613 81
25 Puducherry 21 9 12
26 Punjab 672 498 174
27 Rajasthan 1191 822 369
28 Sikkim 18 14 4
29 Tamil nadu 1004 840 164
30 Tripura 104 72 32
31 Uttar Pradesh 2097 1845 252
32 Uttarakhand 281 208 73
33 West Bengal and A & N Islands 994 856 138
Total 20358 15360 4998

One comment on “Vacancies In The Posts Of Judges In The Supreme Court, High Courts And Lower Courts
  1. Mahendra Prasad Singh says:

    Your link promises data on vacancies in lower courts but it is not made good! But what you give is useful.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Vacancies In The Posts Of Judges In The Supreme Court, High Courts And Lower Courts"
  1. […] mountain of pending cases is the apathy of the Government towards appointing new judges. There are six vacancies in the Supreme Court, 464 in the High Court and 4,998 in the lower courts. Further, though the Supreme Court had […]

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