The Central government on Wednesday approved the introduction of a bill to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court from the present 30 to 33, excluding the Chief Justice.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that there is a need for more judges as many matters are pending in the Supreme Court.

“The Cabinet has taken a decision to increase the strength from 31 to 34 (including Chief Justice),” the minister said.

Currently the sanctioned strength of the top court is 30, excluding the CJI. Once the bill to increase the strength of judges gets cleared by the Parliament, the number of judges would go up to 33, excluding the CJI.

At present, the Supreme Court is working with its full sanctioned strength of 31, including the CJI after four new judges were administered the oath of office in May.

The move came days after Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking to increase the strength of top court judges, citing pendency of 58,669 cases – and increasing due to filing of the more fresh cases.

The CJI had said that Constitution benches cannot be formed due to paucity of judges.