K'taka has highest vacancy of judges in Southern states

Representative image. (iStock photo)

A large number of vacancies in the trial courts has led to huge backlog, with a whopping 15 lakh cases pending across the state.

Data from the Ministry of Law and Justice showed that as on December 5, 239 posts of judges remained vacant, out of the sanctioned strength of 1,345. The nearly 20% vacancies made Karnataka worse off than other southern states in terms of working strength.

Data from the Ministry of Law and Justice on the nation's judicial status shows immediate reforms are required to clear the pending cases and fill the vacancies.

The maxim 'justice delayed is justice denied' seems to be very true for litigants in Karnataka. The neighbouring states fare much better when it comes to vacancies. Tamil Nadu has 137 vacant posts, Telangana 79, Kerala 75 and Andhra Pradesh 68.

There are 347 posts in the cadre of civil judges and judicial magistrates first class, 363 posts of senior civil judges and chief judicial magistrates, 115 posts of district judges and 20 posts of district and sessions judges in the state.

The remaining 500 posts of judges have been created under the Bengaluru City Civil Courts Act, 1979, and other Special Acts.

Apart from the 239 vacant posts of judges, the trial courts are facing serious shortage of assistant public prosecutors with a vacancy of 340 posts against the sanctioned strength of 721. It has resulted in the pendency of cases crossing 15 lakh.

In many departments, engineers, assistant directors and officials of other cadre opt to go on deputation to other departments.

Similarly, in recent years, deputation of judges has also increased, as over 40 judges have been sent on deputation from the judicial department to other departments.

A senior official said most of the judges are on deputation to various departments, tribunals, corporations as legal advisers, legal officers or deputy registrars.

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