July 24, 2024

Judicial vacancies

Syllabus– General Studies 2(polity) 

Context

  • Recently, the Supreme Court has voiced concern over the Government’s lackadaisical attitude towards a large number of vacancies in High Courts and tribunals. 
    • Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana confronted the Government with a list of 240 vacancies in various tribunals. 

Furthermore 

  • Many tribunals lack presiding officers, and recommendations made by selection committees have not been acted upon. 
  • The vacancies in High Courts are at a staggering 455, as on August 1. 
  • The exhortations from the courts, and even a judicial order from the top court in April — fixing time-frames for the Intelligence Bureau and the Government to process names forwarded by the Collegium for making appointments to the High Courts or returning files and for accepting names reiterated by the judges’ body — has not imparted a sense of urgency. 
  • A two-judge Bench has noted that the Centre’s delay in making appointments to the High Courts is adversely affecting the adjudication of commercial disputes.

Issues 

  • The jurisdiction previously exercised by High Courts is now being exercised by the tribunals, and the failure to adjudicate or dispose of disputes in these fields would amount to a denial of justice to the parties. 
  • The present regime’s eagerness to undermine the independent functioning of tribunals is quite apparent. 
    • It has been repeatedly framing rules that seek to provide for greater executive control over the tenure, emoluments and conditions of service of those manning the tribunals. 
    • If specialisation, domain expertise and relatively quicker adjudication are the reasons for which certain kinds of disputes are being resolved through tribunals, these purposes are lost if these bodies are rendered nearly dysfunctional through a large number of vacancies. 
  • As far as higher judiciary appointments are concerned, there is little to enlighten the public on what is causing the delay. Whether it is a dispute over the undoubtedly problematic memorandum of a procedure or the desire of the executive to subject the Collegium recommendations to its own political scrutiny is not clear. 
    • In any case, the delay is causing great harm to India’s justice delivery system.

The Hindu link-https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/undermining-justice-the-hindu-editorial-on-vacancies-in-courts-tribunals/article35845142.ece 

Question- How do vacancies in tribunals and judiciary impact the judicial pendency. Examine.

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