SC bins plea to fill Karnataka judge vacancies

Last Updated 31 October 2018, 08:52 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed pleas for a direction to fill up vacant post of judges in the Karnataka High Court.

“Many judges have been appointed and many more would be appointed. What kind of PIL is this,” a three-judge led bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

The bench, also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph, trashed the plea filed in April, 2018 by Bengaluru-based advocate G R Mohan.

Similarly, the court also rejected a plea filed by Kokkengadabheemayya Changappa against certain recommendations made by the Supreme Court Collegium.

“Some accidents happen in life. They are a part of life,” the bench told senior advocate Basava Prabhu Patil, representing the petitioner.

Advocate Mohan had approached the top court, challenging the Karnataka High Court order, dismissing his plea for direction to fill up vacant of posts of judges over there.

He had contended that 32 vacancies (then) existed in the Karnataka High Court against the sanctioned strength of 62 judges, resulting into progressive accumulation of cases, affecting rights of the litigants to get speedy justice and undermining faith and confidence of people in administration of justice.

“Access to justice, being a constitution duty, will be a mere illusion, if justice is not dispensed due to vacant posts of judges. Article 21 of the Constitution is violated in view of the delay in appointment of judges and disposal of the cases,” his plea stated.

In a special leave petition filed through advocate Shekhar G Devasa, he had challenged the High Court’s order of December 13, 2017, that had declined to entertain his plea in view of pendency of similar matter before the apex court.

The petitioner said the Centre has to take immediate steps to conclude the process of appointment of judges and reduce the agony of litigant public and achieve social and public good.

He asked whether delay in the process of appointment of judges in the High Court would not defeat the concept of independence of judiciary and separation of powers as provided under Article 50 of the Constitution.

Mohan further contended courts lacking in manpower was an abuse of Article 38 (welfare of people and social order) of Constitution.

(Published 29 October 2018, 17:25 IST)

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