SC drops plea for filling judges' posts in K'taka HC

SC drops plea for filling judges' posts in K'taka HC

SC dismisses plea for filling up vacant post of judges

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea for a direction to fill up the 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 Bengauru-based advocate G R Mohan.

The advocate has 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.

Advocate Mohan 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 has 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 if 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.

Hearing a similar writ petition filed by advocate P P Hegde, the top court had on November 13, last year adjourned the matter, saying some of appointments to the vacant post of judges in the Karnataka High Court would be made soon.

As many as 2.07 lakh cases were pending before the HC, which was functioning with only 40 % of judges, Hegde had claimed.