Supreme Court expresses concern over delay in judges’ appointment

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over the delay by the Centre in accepting recommendations by the Collegium on the appointment of judges in high courts, saying there should be a reasonable time-frame for processing the names.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Surya Kant said the Law Ministry has to respond to the Collegium’s recommendations in a time-bound manner.

Names cleared by the Supreme Court Collegium are pending with the ministry for more than six months, the bench said.

“There are 45 names which have been recommended by the high courts but not sent to the Collegium. There are names we have cleared but the Law Ministry has not cleared yet,” it said.

The court asked Attorney General K K Venugopal to disclose the status of recommendations made by the Collegium.

Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh asked the court to consider lawyers practising in the top court in making recommendations for appointment of high court judges. The court pointed out that the Collegium did make such recommendations but the bar bodies of the high courts opposed them.

The top court was hearing a PIL by NGO ‘Lok Prahari’ on the appointment of retired judges to the Supreme Court under Article 128 of the Constitution. Out of the sanctioned strength of 1,080 judges in 24 high courts, 419 posts are lying vacant. (Agency)

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