Chief Justice T. S. Thakur Breaks Down At Apathy Of Govt Towards Filling Judicial Vacancies

The Ministry of Law & Justice recently released data that shows the shocking level of arrears in the Courts. In the Supreme Court itself, more than 48,418 cases are pending of which 1,132 cases are more than 10 years old. In the High Courts, 31,16,492 civil cases are pending of which more than 5,89,631 cases are pending for more than 10 years.

What has caused this 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 directed in the All India Judges’ Association Case that, on a comparative assessment of the position in other countries, there should be 50 judges for a million population in the country, presently, the Judge (based on sanctioned strength) : population ratio in the country works out to be only 17.72 Judges/Judicial Officers per million population.

Chief Justice T. S. Thakur has been taking every opportunity to remind the Government of its constitutional obligation.

In the context of non-appointment of Members of the ITAT, a Bench presided by the Chief Justice had passed strictures against the Government. “We cleared the names eight months back but the government is sitting over it. We don’t know why” the Bench said. It also lamented that “There is no sense of urgency at all on the part of the government“.

Yesterday, at a conference of Chief Justices and Chief Ministers, the learned Chief Justice lamented that despite repeated reminders, the Government remained apathetic to the miseries of the litigants.

In an emotional tone and with tears welling in his eyes, the learned Chief Justice askedIf you have 170 names sent to you (for appointment of HC judges) for two months, I don’t understand why they are held up, where are those proposals stuck, we should know.” “The vacancies in the high courts have since increased to 470” he added.

Chief Justice Thakur also countered the contention of the Law Minister that it takes time to get reports. “Why should the Intelligence Bureau take months to send its report (on judges’ appointment)? Why can’t the Prime Minister’s Office ask the IB to send its report within 15 days? Why should the IB sit over these reports?” he demanded to know.

The learned Chief Justice also made it clear that he was not impressed by the Prime Minister’s suggestion for introduction of commercial courts: “Hon’ble Prime Minister, the commercial courts project is one of your prime agenda but what’s happening? These commercial courts are being designated out of the existing courts. Will that serve the purpose when the concept was to provide a different environment for commercial disputes? Simply putting old wine in new bottle will not serve the purpose” Justice Thakur said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reaction to the emotional appeal of the learned Chief Justice was ambivalent. On the one hand he said “Jab jaago tab savera (better late than never)” implying that he would act speedily to resolve the crises. On the other hand, he jocularly remarked that he was “in trouble” with the judges ever since he suggested that the vacation period be reduced and working hours be increased. “I am in awe of the judiciary since then” he added, implying that he believes that the irregular functioning of the Courts is responsible for the mounting arrears and not so much the non-appointment of judges to fill the vacancies.

11 comments on “Chief Justice T. S. Thakur Breaks Down At Apathy Of Govt Towards Filling Judicial Vacancies
  1. Dipak Shah says:

    Cut down the Adjournments . No excuses…!!!!!!!!!!??

  2. XYZ says:

    If it is important to cut down on the number of pending litigation, why does the CJI not consider cutting down the court vacations instead! even students don’t get so many vacations and in which profession do offices give so many holidays…I’m sure this is something that is in the CJI’s and judges’ hands. If you really want to cut down on the pending cases please pull up your own act before holding anyone else, including the government responsible.

  3. Subhash Agarwal says:

    it was very disturbing and disheartening to note that the Hon’ble CJI broke down during conference with Hon’ble PM because of delay in the appointment of judges. This news appeared in all the news papers and all the TV channels. What about millions of litigants who do not get speedy justice from the courts and make hundreds of visits of the courts only to get the date. Take the provision of section 138 of negotiable Instrument Act, where the complainant becomes and accused as he has to appear every time in the court while the offender never appears in the courts. Time and again the case is adjourned may be 20 to 30 times and complainant ultimately never gets any relief. The Hon’ble CJI should first try to set right the subordinate judiciary before talking of recruitment of fresh judges. I am aware of a number of cases where only adjournments are given and the cases are never disposed off. This causes great harassment to the complainants.
    The general thinking is to take the help of police or the goons for recovery of the loans instead of filing suits in the courts.

  4. Dipak Shah says:

    Nice that Their Lordships is concerned about Judges/ Justices. But I would pray that at the same time when Judges/ justices doing Injustice , apparent and against provisions and act , there should be some process to take up the matter against Judge and Justices , retired of continued. I have documentary proof in support of this that Judges and Justices done wrong against Oath Taken , Free Frank, Law Abiding, Non prejudicial and much more. SOme of them made Businesses by sitting in the Cair!!!!! This is very hard words I used to comment upon.

  5. Ashwani Joshi says:

    Mr PM Sir, Country needs judges not bullet trains after raising loans.

  6. Saty Narayan Prasad says:

    That has happened since congress regime.
    Modi is not at fault.
    TSThakur has raised correct question to wrong person.
    Thakur itself voiced for correction in collagium system but now sit idle.

    See the quality of judges, they feel affiliations either with bjp or congress ?
    Is this a good sign ?
    Yes, for foolishness it may be a good sign.

  7. M.Narayanan says:

    Everyone wants to sweep the floors of his house and throw the dust on neighbour’s house. Dust bin asks what for am I?

  8. Ashwani Joshi says:

    I am sorry CJI. You are just a common man for crooked politicians. But I appreciate your blow. A day will come when jaws of stupid politicians will be broken by knocks of clear hearted souls like yours.

  9. N G Nileshwar says:

    This is my personal experience, where I am the Respondent.
    “Lodging” of case to “Registration” – 15 Days
    “Registration” to “Writ of summons” -180 days
    “Writ of Summons” to “For steps” -198 days
    “For steps” to “For Framing issues” -143 days
    “For Framing issues” to Recording Evidence” -784 days
    In these 784 days, case was put up for “Dismissal” 3 times and the case finally dismissed for want of evidence. In a total of 1,206 days i.e. 3-1/4 years from lodging it, the allegations stood where they were. The case was put up for hearing only to be adjourned 30 times. Surprisingly, the matter was heard by 3 different judges.
    Why should anyone blame the Executive and why should the CJI shed tears for delay by the Executive in appointing the 186 judges? The Judiciary does not wish to reform itself but push the blame to the Executive as if these 186 judges would have cleared the backlog within no time.
    Where is the interest of the Respondent taken care of? How would he be compensated for mental torture and harassment during this period apart for the expenses incurred for each visit to the court?

  10. Saty Narayan Prasad says:

    What the hell money and extra judges will do, if people at the helm of affairs are blind like ostrich ?
    The present setup of judiciary will never be able to deliver justice, rather it will make sure miscarriage of justice, unless and until high paid advocates are not appointed.
    Judges are most of the time under mental pressure from high paid advocates, not because those advocates are more capable but because those judges are of second class.
    If two judges at the Supreme Court level are not competent to see the lapses in judiciary, why they should continued as judges ?
    Only because there is a lame provision in statute for Removal of such erring judges ?
    You all need to think over it, otherwise your kith and kin will be the next victim.
    I had filed a WRIT under Article 32 of the Constitution (Ref WP D 32039 of 2015).

    The Learned Registrar J III (Ms Nisha Bhardwaj) was pleased in lodging the same under Order XV, Rule 5 of Supreme Court Rules 2013, terming the WRIT as scandalous.

    I questioned this pleasing exercise of J III vide CRLMP 20506 of 2015, but the Ld Judges JUSTICE UDAY UMESH LALIT and JUSTICE V. GOPALA GOWDA termed this challenge as an ‘Abuse of the Process of Laws’ and dismissed the petition, resulting the WRIT WP D 32039 of 2015 went unheard.

    This arises a mute question of ability of delivery of Justice by the Judiciary.

    If the highest judiciary is fearful of a WRIT by a common man, then you office bearer have to think for yourself, why you all are there?

    The Petitioner, i.e. I, Saty Narayan Prasad, was alleged for a criminal offence through FIR 211/12, PS Deoghar, Jharkhand, then PS Deoghar filed a final report i.e. charge sheet confirming the maintainability of the allegation, but it never proved that there were had happened any such offence. i.e. the happening of offence is missing.

    It is the State Administration which has abused the process of laws, it is the lower judiciary which has abused the process of laws, to make me a declared criminal.
    I have neither abused nor misused by filing the above WRIT to Supreme Court.

    Now, where should I go? Go for a killing by becoming a NAXALITE?

    Can your law of land permit that without offence, any prosecution be initiated?

    If yes, then I Charge every office bearer of Government of India as traitor including Chief Justice of India, will you then proceed against those office bearers or will you ask me to establish my claim first?

    Hope this mail may make you all feel the abusive practice in Judiciary and you may able to take some corrective action.

    Will it be considered?

    जिस देश की ज्यूडिशियरी 10 करोड़ लोगों को परेशान किये रखे सालों से, उस ज्यूडिशियरी की राजशाही के लिये, जनता को टैक्स देना चाहिये क्या ?
    सरकार को जनता से टैक्स लेना चाहिये क्या ?
    टी एस ठाकुर, तुम भी ऑड इवेन लागू कर दो ज्यूडिशियरी में, मज़ा आ जायेगा !
    लगता है पल्टुवाल से नौटँकी सीखा है टी एस ठाकुर ने ?
    इसकी सारी हेकड़ी थी केवल NJAC को खत्म करने तक की।
    कोलेजियम सिस्टम को सुधारने का भी केवल ड्रामा किया था इसने ।
    नौटँकीबाज़ टी एस ठाकुर, तुमको और तुम्हारे सहयोगी जजों को थोड़ी भी अक्ल होती तो तुम्हें आज का ड्रामा नहीं करना पड़ता ।
    जिस जनता यानी भारतीय नागरिकों को ज्यूडिशियरी से शिकायत है, उसका एक भी नुमाइंदा आज की विज्ञान भवन की मीटिंग में नहीं था।
    विज्ञान भवन भी सोच रहा था कि इतने सारे लोग किसके न्याय के लिये बात करने आये हैं !
    सरकार तो ज्यूडिशियरी में दखल दे नहीं सकती और सर्वोच्च न्यायालय आम नागरिकों के रिट ऐसे रिजेक्ट करता है जैसे वे आम नागरिक इस देश में ही बोझ हैं !
    (वैसे सरकार के मंत्री भी जनसंख्या को बोझ ही मानते हैं, तभी कभी दो बच्चे तो कभी नसबन्दी की आवाज लगाते रहते हैं)
    जिस दिन इस देश की जनता को समझ में आ गया कि सारी बुराइयों की जड़ इसी सुप्रीम कोर्ट के जज, रजिस्ट्रार और वकील हैं, उसी दिन संविधान जाएगा भाड़ में और सुप्रीम कोर्ट में लगा दिया जाएगा ताला।
    इन जजों और इसके रजिस्ट्रारों ने मेरा रिट एक फ़ालतू सी वाहियात क्लाउज लगा कर बन्द करी है कि रिट से षड्यंत्र की बू आती है।
    बहस कर ही लेते तो, तेरी बेटियों की महिलासशक्तिकरण खत्म हो जाती क्या ?

  11. N Singh says:

    True thought but what he can do they can only suggest the name or recommend for approval the final call key with Gov. Committee of appointment

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