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Bengaluru Lawyers to Meet Attorney General, SC Justices Tomorrow Over Shortage of Judges

The meeting will focus on the issue of fulfilling vacancies, considering that there has been an outcry against the delay in making appointments of High Court judges for long.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:April 17, 2018, 3:21 PM IST
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Bengaluru Lawyers to Meet Attorney General, SC Justices Tomorrow Over Shortage of Judges
Supreme Court of India. (Network18 Creatives)
Bengaluru: Taking forward their demands to fulfill nearly 60% vacancies in Karnataka high court, the Advocates' Association of Bengaluru will meet the Attorney General and a few judges of the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The meeting will focus on the issue of fulfilling vacancies, considering that there has been an outcry against the delay in making appointments of High Court judges for long.

The advocates had even held a hunger strike last month against the delay, which they felt was because of huge differences between the Central Government and the Supreme Court on judicial appointments.

In fact, the association had openly criticised the Centre's interference in judicial appointments, saying that this is working against the cause of justice, and pendency of cases is growing by the day.

Union Minister Sadananda Gowda had taken their demands to the union law minister after which a permanent Chief Justice was finally appointed to the High Court — but even now, other judges' appointments that have been cleared by the Supreme Court are still kept in abeyance as the Centre has not cleared them. The appointment of two judges who were to be elevated from the Bar has been kept pending for two years — again, despite clearance from the Collegium.

Efforts are also on to meet the Chief Justice of India to raise this issue with him, especially considering that cases related to bail applications and those of undertrial prisoners are not getting listed immediately.

"As of now, there are over 3.25 lakh cases pending in the High Court — a mere glance at the sitting list would show the workload on judges, resulting in affecting the quality of disposal, on account of pressure of workload, lack of time... and if the situation continues, it results in affecting their health seriously," said Association president AP Ranganath.

Karnataka has the highest vacancy among all High Courts in the country, while two other High Courts also have a more than 50% shortage. "The sanctioned strength of judges in the Karnataka High Court is 62, but there are just 24 judges currently. Of these, 16 are functioning in the Principal bench at Bengaluru, while five are posted in the Dharwad bench and three others in Kalburgi bench.

Four of the sitting judges are set to retire this year — two of them as early as the end of June — and this will further increase the pressure on judges, Ranganath points out. There are days when judges have more than 120-130 cases on their cause-list and this is affecting every case he said.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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