New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has said that appointment of judges in higher and subordinate judiciary across the country was the only way to tackle pendency. While hearing cases related to filling up of vacancies, CJI Gogoi said, “We want our judges to function. We need judges, we need courtrooms, we need manpower. We will make states governments, high courts and public service commissions responsible.” Also Read - Collegium Clears Four Names, Supreme Court Likely to Have Four New Judges Soon
Gogoi, who was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India on October 3, has conducted six collegium meetings so far to fill the 29 vacancies in high courts and four in the Supreme Court. The collegium comprising Gogoi, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph did not hesitate to invoke provisions of Memorandum of Procedure while appointing a judge of the same high court as Chief Justice of parent high courts of Bombay and Calcutta. Justice D K Gupta and Justice N H Patil were appointed as the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court and Bombay High Court respectively by the collegium. Also Read - Allahabad High Court Judge Writes to PM Modi Over Appointments, Seeks System Better Than Collegium
To fill the vacancies, the Chief Justice has conducted six collegium meetings in 30 days. During the first collegium on October 9, a decision was taken to recommend seven judicial officers as judges of Karnataka High Court, five judicial officers and advocates as judges of Kerala High Court. On the same day, three additional judges of Madras High Court were made permanent judges. Also Read - CJI Sexual Harassment Case: 'Highly Disappointed', Says Woman Complainant as SC Gives Clean Chit to Gogoi
In the second collegium held on October 24, seven Gauhati High Court additional judges were made as permanent judges. Moreover, three judicial officers were elevated as judges of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. In the third meeting, on October 29, the collegium comprising CJI, justices Lokur Joseph, Justice Sikri and Justice Bobde transferred 11 judges to another high court.
The fourth collegium meeting included Justices Lokur, Joseph, Sikri and Bobde. The meeting which took place on October 30 recommended Chief Justices of four high courts — justices Hemant Gupta, R Subhash Reddy, Mukeshkumar Rasikbhai Shah and Ajay Rastogi, as top court judges.
During the fifth meeting which took place on October 31, the collegium cleared the names of 13-judicial officers as the judges of Allahabad High Court. The court had a vacancy of 76 judges against the sanctioned strength of 160 judges.
In the sixth meeting, the collegium considered the request by two judges to reconsider their transfer to the high court while the third judge’s recommendation was reiterated.
Gogoi, who happened to be the first CJI from Assam, will have a tenure of 13 months. He would retire on November 17, 2019.
(With Agency Inputs)