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SUPREME COURT DELIVERS ORDERS AGAINST THE PLEA SEEKING APPOINTMENT OF AD-HOC JUDGES

Team SoOLEGAL 19 Apr 2021 4:12pm

SUPREME COURT DELIVERS ORDERS AGAINST THE PLEA SEEKING APPOINTMENT OF AD-HOC JUDGES

A Virtual meeting was held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, for the implementation of Art. 224A of the Indian Constitution. Art 224A of the Constitution of India states the appointment of additional and acting judges. As the number of cases is increasing day by day, the Apex Court held  a discussion, where each judge representing its High Court will put forward a suggestion for the appointment of the ad – hoc judges. 

While a detailed examination was done of the website the National Judicial Data Grid, it was found that 56.4% of cases are pending since a period of 5 years, however, almost 40% of the cases are pending for 5 to 20 years. The website of the Department of Justice (DoJ) provides other detailed information regarding the vacancies, working strength in High Courts.

At last, on 15 April 2021, the Hon’ble Supreme Court with Bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and justices Sanjay Krishan Kaul and Surya Kant, delivered the order and passed a continuous mandamus against the PIL filed by an NGO named "Lok Prahari" seeking the invocation of Article 224A to tackle the issue of mounting case arrears at High Courts.

The Chief justice SA Bobde stated that “Article 224A is a statutory provision” and agreed to the appointment of the ad-hoc judges as the pending cases will meet their end and the existing judges will be able to focus on the current cases and decide on the constitutional bench matters. To this Justice SK Kaul suggested that the ad-hoc judges should hear cases that are pending for 10 to 15 years.

Other suggestions were also put forward such as the ad-hoc judges must be allowed to handle arbitration matters but the suggestion was denied rightly. The bench made statements regarding allowances of ad-hoc judges. It was stated that the Consolidated Fund of India will be the source of allowances for the newly appointed ad-hoc judges.

The bench decided the trigger points which will activate the appointment, about the procedure, tenure of the appointment, and also about the uniform criteria to decide the number of judges that need to be appointed.

The majority of the participants agreed that the “trigger point” should be “when 20% of the backlog in any individual High Court is pending for more than ten years.” A majority of them agrees to form a collegium once the High Courts reach the trigger point. The names recommended should have the nexus with the kind of cases pending and the age limit was set between 65 – 70 years with the tenure of two years.



Tagged: Virtual meeting   Supreme Court   Indian Constitution   Constitution of India   Art 224A   High Court   National Judicial Data Grid   Department of Justice   Chief Justice of India   SA Bobde   justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul   justice Surya Kant   Lok Prahari   NGO  
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