No Logjam in Appointment, Transfer of Judges: Centre Tells SC

“There is progress in the appointments and have the (hearing of the) matter after 2 weeks,” said Attorney General.

2 min read
Supreme Court of India. (Photo: Reuters)

Asserting that there is “no blame game” or “logjam” in appointments and transfer of judges for higher judiciary, the Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the high courts have “pretty much delayed” starting the process.

There is no blame game. There is no logjam in the system. It’s like a race, if you start in time, you will reach in time. The High Courts, by and large, were pretty much delayed in starting the race. The process to fill up five year, six year old vacancies have been started late.
Mukul Rohatgi, Attorney General, told a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur

At the outset, he said “there is progress in the appointments and (we will) have the (hearing of the) matter after two weeks. We will see more progress.”

The top law officer placed two sets of documents in sealed envelopes before the bench, which also comprised of Justice AM Khanwilkar. It contained a compilation of facts and figures on the appointment and transfer of judges.

Rohatgi told the bench that the documents will indicate every aspect of different high courts including that of the oldest Allahabad High Court where the vacancies are “alarming” and there has been a delay of nine years in starting the process by the judiciary.

He hastened to clarify that there was no “blame game” over the issue and said the recommendations made by the collegium with regard to Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Allahabad High Courts have been “cleared”.

While “appreciating” the efforts made by the Centre, the bench said:

It is an arduous process after which the recommendations come to us. Once we start the process, there should not be delay or it should not be stalled. It has to move forward.

During the brief hearing, the Chief Justice of India referred to his visit to Chhattisgarh High Court and said there were only eight judges working there and the vacancy was more than one-third.

Rohatgi responded by saying that all the three names pertaining to the Chhattisgarh High Court have been cleared.

The bench then posted the matter for further hearing on 30 September.

Wednesday’s hearing came nearly a month after it had sent a stern message to the Centre over non-execution of collegium’s decision to transfer and appoint Chief Justices and judges in High Courts.

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