The Supreme Court Bar Association on Friday organised a function to welcome the Chief Justices of various High Courts of the country, as well as the new members of SCBA.
Law Minister Kiren Rijiju was the Guest of Honour at the event, which witnessed participation from dignitaries like Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana, Attorney General of India K.K. Venugopal, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, SCBA President Vikas Singh and SCBA Vice-President Pradeep Rai.
Besides, Chief Justices of High Courts, SCBA members, lawyers and those associated with the legal profession, among others, were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the CJI said the power to appoint a Judge in a High Court lies with the Chief Justice of the respective High Court.
CJI Ramana said this, while responding to the request made by SCBA President Vikas Singh and Association’s Vice-President Pradeep Rai.
He asked the Chief Justices of various High Courts to send names for promotion to vacant posts of judges at the earliest.
Senior Advocate Pradeep Rai said, “I would like to make a humble request to the CJI to consider the names of Supreme Court lawyers for elevation to High Courts.
“We are not interfering in any way in the process of delivery of justice, but it is a humble request for lawyers to be considered for elevation to the various High Courts. We are not against merit, but good Advocates should be given this opportunity.”
Talking about the judicial academies, he said, “Most of the judicial academies are not being optimally utilised. The access of Judicial academies should be open to the lawyers community. After intervention of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, members of SCBA recently got training at Future Academy. All High Court lawyers should be extended such facility. There should not be any restriction on Advocates using these facilities.
“When the infrastructure is developed for legal fraternity, the bar should also be consulted. Advocates should be given access to Judicial Academies to upgrade their knowledge, whenever there is a possibility.
“Lawyers should also be considered for appointment in judicial academies after sufficient training,” he added.
He said SCBA has a great responsibility as they not only have to see the names that come in front as a judge, but also those whichever place they are.
SCBA President Vikas Singh said when the Constitution was formed, there was no Collegium. “Now, we have a full-fledged Collegium,” he noted.
Expressing concern over the pending cases, AG Venugopal said that 42 lakh cases were pending in lower courts.
“How has our justice delivery system become so bad? About 75 per cent of the accused are in custody. Most of them cannot even afford to fight for themselves. We have to take some strict action.
“In the lower court, out of the post of 24,000 Judges, 5,000 posts are lying vacant. How will people get justice?,” he added.