Judges' vacancies in High Court likely to be filled soon

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that some of appointments to the vacant post of judges in the High Court of Karnataka would be made soon.

It refused to consider, for now, a petition filed by a Karnataka advocate for filling up vacancies of judges in the high court there.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud posted the petition filed by P P Hegde for consideration after 12 weeks.

The court pointed out that some of the recommendations for appointment as judges in the high courts were under consideration of the Supreme Court collegium.

The petitioner submitted that as many as 2.07 lakh cases are pending before the high court, which was functioning with only 40% of total number of judges.

It was seriously infringing upon the fundamental rights of the citizens to get speedy justice, the petitioner's plea stated.

Hegde, represented by senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, sought taking steps to fill up the vacant posts in the High Court of Karnataka. The court initially observed that this kind of petition cannot be entertained.

Ramachandran, for his part, contended he was conscious that the Supreme Court had recently preferred to recall an order for examining the delay in finalisation of the Memorandum of Procedure.

Ramachandran, however, submitted that the Law Ministry had recently sent for consideration 40 names for appointment as judges in the nine high courts, including that of High Court of Karnataka.

On this, the Supreme Court said that some of the pending appointments would be made and adjourned the hearing of the petition after 12 weeks.

The High Court of Karnataka has 62 sanctioned posts of judges. However, there are only 25 judges there at present, including the acting chief justice.

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