Posts Tagged ‘Allahabad High Court

Justices delayed: SC down, Judge vacancies pile up

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At a time when the collegium system of appointment of Judges is under attack, the Supreme Court — with over 50,000 cases pending before it — will soon be working at less than 75 per cent of its total sanctioned strength of Judges. By October 15, seven Judges of the apex court will retire, the largest number of retirements in a single year since Independence.

And that’s just the position in the country’s highest court. The biggest court in India, Allahabad High Court, has been functioning with just 62 of its total 160 approved strength of Judges, as reported by The Indian Express (nine more will join tomorrow). The Gujarat HC, with a sanctioned strength of 42, has 18 vacancies; while Punjab and Haryana HC has just 43 Judges, against a sanctioned strength of 68.

In all, data compiled by the government shows, of the total 895 posts of Judges sanctioned in the 21 HCs in the country, only 610 are currently filled — a gap of 285. This year, in fact, saw the highest number of posts falling vacant in HCs in a calendar year since 1990. However, only 41 new appointments have been made so far in 2011.

The subordinate judiciary is not much better placed. Data collected by the Supreme Court says that as of December 31, 2010, out of the sanctioned strength of 17,151 posts in states and Union Territories, 3,170 were vacant, with Bihar (389 vacancies), Gujarat (361), Uttar Pradesh (294) and Maharashtra (234) leading the list.

Even though the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia has recommended three names — two HC Chief Justices and one Judge of Bombay HC — even if they are able to take oath by October 15, the number of vacancies in the apex court will still be six out of 31.

“Even though at every meeting of chief ministers and Chief Justices, the judiciary is requested to recommended names for elevation to the Bench at least three months before an anticipated vacancy, it is never done. Today, except for the Himachal Pradesh High Court, there is no court that is working at full strength. Though the sanctioned strength of the Jammu and Kashmir HC is 14, the court is functioning with just seven judges. In most cases, the HC collegium has not met even once in the last one year to recommend names,” said a senior government functionary.

Sikkim, the country’s smallest court with a sanctioned strength of three judges, has just one judge, who was designated Acting Chief Justice after the resignation of Justice P D Dinakaran last month.

The other HCs with a significant number of vacancies are Andhra Pradesh (16), Bombay (14), Calcutta (14), Rajasthan (13) and Chhattisgarh (12).

The highest number of appointments made in a single year was 110 in 2006 when Justice Y K Sabharwal was the CJI and H R Bhardwaj the Union law minister.


CJI confounded at PIL on Noida Extension

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A representation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka...

Image via Wikipedia

In connection to the problem on the Noida Extension,the SC has witnessed a severe vexed moment when the CJI remarked an out of the blue opinion and  annoted and terming as “The biggest problem” the state of affairs when the Supreme Court is called upon to give ex-post facto approval to buildings and projects after crores have been invested.

“The most acute problem over the years the Supreme court has faced is that the plans, the buildings, the projects come up and suddenly at the end a PIL comes and we are required to decide ex-post facto approval.”

“This is the biggest problem the which Supreme Court is facing. Should crores of investment be just thrown out or should we give ex-post facto approval. If so, in what cases?” he said at an international seminar.

In Noida Extension, an estimated 2.5 lakh houses are planned and out of that about one lakh units have already been sold by builders.

Noida Extension Flat Buyers Welfare Association (NEFBWA) which represents nearly 30,000 affected flat owners in Greater Noida, is expecting that the Allahabad High Court will admit its applications on July 26 to become a party in the cases related to land acquisition.

High Court has quashed the acquisition of about 750 hectares of land from farmers by the Greater Noida Development Industrial Authority (GNIDA), affecting more than 26,000 flat-owners and about 20 realty projects of developers, including Amrapali and Supertech.

Justice Kapadia said local bodies also create problems for the Supreme Court when they first approve a project but backtrack later and suggested that the British legal system could give India some directions as UK has devised some concepts to face this challenge.

On July 6, the Supreme Court had upheld the Allahabad High Court’s order to quash acquisition of 156 hectare of land from farmers in the Shahberi village of Greater Noida. Last week, the High Court passed another order quashing the acquisitions of 589.13 hectares of land acquired from the farmers.