New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asserted that courts in the country have to function and that it is going to make sure that governments provide manpower and infrastructure.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi emphasised that it is not for the high courts to hold their hands in appointing judges for lack of infrastructure.
"Making infrastructure is not your business, appointing judges is your business. If the government doesn't make provisions for infrastructure, will you stop appointing judges?" the bench asked Registrar General of the Delhi High Court.
"Manpower and infrastructure are to be provided by the government and we will make sure they do it. We know only one thing, our courts have to function," said Justice Gogoi.
The remarks from the bench came after the Delhi High Court Registrar submitted that they were going slow on appointment of new judges for want of adequate infrastructure, including court halls and residential units for the judicial officers.
But the top court was categorical that appointment of judges cannot be halted only because the respective state government has not done enough. It said the Supreme Court will take care of issuing orders necessary to move them.
The court was hearing a PIL which highlighted issues of huge pendency in subordinate judiciary and inaction by the state governments as well as various high courts in making appointments, which is a prime reason for increase in pendency.
During the hearing, the court also pulled up the West Bengal government for its "lethargy" in addressing the concerns. It said the bench is "shocked" by the response of the state chief secretary who has failed to come up with clear answers.
The bench gave the West Bengal government a week to submit deadlines on completion of 422 court halls and 630 residential units in the state. It has also ordered the chief secretary and finance secretary of the state to remain present on December 5.