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Parliament on Wednesday passed  the bill  that seeks to increase the number of Supreme Court judges from the present 30 to 33.

Sometime back, the Union Cabinet had taken the decision to raise the strength of the Supreme Court from 31 to 34, including the Chief Justice of India. This is aimed at reducing the massive number of pending cases: 59331, as on July 11 this year. The law that fixes the number of judges in the highest court was last amended in 2009 to raise the figure from 26 to 31. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had written to the Prime Minister recently, highlighting the problem of paucity of judges, due to which he was unable to constitute enough  Constitution Benches to decide important questions of law.

Moving “The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019” for consideration and return, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “I would urge the House to consider the Bill” Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “We have no objection to it…but members of Parliament want to discuss it as we normally do not discuss judiciary…We get chance once in a decade or six months…We would also want to know about the judiciary.”

The bill was passed without discussion. It was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday

–India Legal Bureau

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