Many High Courts are working at almost Half of its sanctioned strength.
Overcoming the serious differences within itself, as well as with Centre, Supreme Court Collegium has finalised Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of the judges to the constitutional courts.
The issue had been a bone of contention between executive and judiciary for more than a year.
Collegium, headed by the Chief Justice J S Khehar and comprising of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Madan B Lokur, agreed to contentious national security clause that Centre had insisted upon as one of grounds for determining eligibility of the judges for appointment to Supreme Court and High Courts.
Apex Court Collegium has also dropped its reservation about setting up secretariats in Supreme Court and each High Court to maintain the databases on judges and assist collegiums in SC and High Courts in selection of the judges.
Finalisation of MoP , which will be sent to Centre for approval and adoption this week, raises hopes of speedy filling up of vacancies in the HCs, which are operating at below 60% of their sanctioned strength.
In many HCs, court rooms have been shut because of lack of adequate number of judges.
This is hampering disposal of cases, which adds to the backlog.
For last one year, draft MoP was getting tossed back and forth between Centre and Collegium with the both sides refusing to budge over their stated positions on national security clause which ostensibly gave veto power to government to reject a name recommended by Collegium for appointment as judge.
However, things started moving after Justice Khehar took over as CJI and composition of the collegium changed, allowing it to meet challenges head on.
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With inpits from TOI.