Lawstreet Journal

Supreme Court gives Article 224A a new life to bring back former retired judges on an ad-hoc basis

Lawstreet Journal 22 Apr 2021 11:00pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Supreme Court gives Article 224A a new life to bring back former retired judges on an ad-hoc basis

The Supreme Court on Tuesday (April 20, 2021) re-initiated Article 224A of the Constitution, which had been inactive for 58 years, allowing high court chief justices to nominate retired HC judges as ad hoc judges for two to five years if the High Courts (HCs) face a backlog of cases. 

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde, Justices S K Kaul and Surya Kant took the historic step of laying out a formal enforcement of Article 224A, which was present in the original Constitution but was removed in 1956 and reintroduced in 1963.

In the last five decades, only three ad hoc judges of HCs have been named for a term of one year each—Justice Suraj Bhan in the Madhya Pradesh HC in 1972, Justice P Venugopal in Madras HC in 1982 and Justice O P Srivastava in the Ayodhya case in 2007. In this respect, only three retired judges have been appointed.

The CJI-led bench said that the trigger point for a High Court chief justice to invoke "Article 224A" may be several things— (a) if vacancies are more than 20% of the sanctioned strength, (b) cases in a particular category are pending for over five years, (c) more than 10% of the backlog of pending cases are over five years old, (d) the percentage of rate of disposal is lower than the institution of cases either in a particular subject matter or generally in the court, and, (e) even if there are not many old cases pending, but depending on the… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Supreme Court of India  
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