Wednesday, March 29, 2023

High Court judges appointment: Supreme Court seeks response from Centre, Delhi High Court on drawing 50% strength from District Judiciary

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The Supreme Court has asked the Delhi High Court and Union Law Ministry on a plea for having 50 percent of High Court judges appointed from the service quota, which means from the judicial services or the district judiciary.

A bench comprising of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Vikram Nath have issued notice on an intervention application which was filed by the Judicial Service Association of Delhi (JSAD).

As per the application, a plea was filed concerning the service conditions of those on the bench in the High Courts as well as the district judiciary.

The JSAD said that the quota for judicial officers in High Courts should be increased to 50 per cent from the current 33 per cent.

It is worth to mention that the application states that although the Constitution does not speak of any ratio/quota of High Court appointees from judicial service or the bar, the service judges are mentioned in the first in Article 217(2) of the Constitution.

The application talks about the framers of the Constitution who placed more emphasis and responsibility on persons who have held judicial offices.

It was further argued that if more judges are appointed from the district judiciary, it will lead to better disposal of cases as well as better judgments

The application also says that since the lowers courts are subordinate to High Courts, service judges are tested and supervised over time. Further, information on writing skills and other credentials of such candidates are readily available.

It was urged to the Court for considering that the bar-service ratios are at least maintained in the appointment of High Court Judges, and that vacancies from the service quota are filled at the earliest.

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