Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 27
Frowning upon an inordinate delay in clearing the names of candidates recommended by the Collegium for appointment as judges in high courts, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the government to fix a timeline for the same.
A Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde — which termed it a “matter of great concern” — asked the Ministry of Law and Justice to spell out how much time it would take to process the recommendations.
Pointing out that recommendations sent by the high courts of Bombay and Allahabad in May-June 2020 were hanging fire, it said in many cases government took more than a year.
“You say something is pending with the Intelligence Bureau and some chief minister has not responded. But we want to know your timeline,” it asked Attorney General KK Venugopal, who said pendency of recommendation had come down from 150 to 104 in December.
The Bench — which also included Justice SK Kaul and Justice Surya Kant – said: “We need to put the houses in order.”
“In five months, the Collegium cleared the names of nine judges and six are still pending,” it said. The Bench adjourned the hearing on the PIL on vacancies in high courts for two weeks, awaiting the Centre’s response.
“We need the update on pending names as on January 29. Suppose you have reservations and send back names to us, then we can reiterate. But if you don’t give comments for five months on collegium recommendation, it is a matter of great concern. You need to see the bottlenecks and iron them out,” the Bench said.
“One hundred and eighty nine proposals are pending. Please study this chart and we will hear this matter soon,” CJI Bobde told Venugopal.
Crisis as four Punjab & Hry HC judges retire
Chandigarh: Four senior judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court have retired this month and two elevated as Chief Justices. As of now, the court has 36 vacancies and will be working at almost half its sanctioned strength of 85 after the retirement of four more judges later this year. inside