Expressing concern over vacancies in High Courts and Tribunals, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on Saturday urged the government to intervene and speedup appointments.
He was speaking that All India Conference of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in New Delhi on Saturday where Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present.
Stating that there are 500 judges’ posts lying vacant in High Courts, Thakur said that courtrooms are lying vacant without judges.
“Around 500 vacancies in High courts today, 500 HC judges should be working today; they are not working,”’said CJI.
The CJI said that he at pains in persuading my colleagues who are demitting office to accept these appointments to tribunals.
“Armed Forces appellate Tribunal is without a chairman, competition commission without chairman only 121 or so such appointments have come, but large number of proposals still pending, hope Govt attends to them also,” he said.
Thakur further said that in principle, the judiciary was not against the formation of Tribunals because it would relieve court duties, but the problem arose from the lack of infrastructure.
“Tribunals are not equipped and are lying empty. Today a situation has come that when no retired Supreme Court judge wants to head the Tribunal… Vacancy apart from infrastructure is a major concern for the Tribunal,” Thakur said.
Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad who reacted to the CJI’s comments said that government is doing its best to improve infrastructure and has filled up vacancies to the extent possible.
“We respectfully disagree with him; this year 120 judges were appointed,” said the Union Minister.
Earlier in April, Thakur – while addressing a joint conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices – broke down urging the government to fill up vacancies in the High Court.
The two-day Central Administrative Tribunal Conference is held to discuss and deliberate upon the problems faced by the institution and to bring improvement in the judicial/administrative system so as to achieve higher disposal in the shortest possible time. It will conclude on Sunday.