Govt vs judiciary spat reopens, Centre to hire retired judges

Earlier, the government rejected 43 names out of 77 names hand-picked by the Supreme Court Collegium for appointments in High Courts across the country

The government has reportedly received names of 18 former judges from four high courts in the country after the executive and the judiciary agreed to invoke an extraordinary provision of the Constitution to post retired judges.

It is to be seen how Supreme Court Chief Justice TS Thakur reacts to this when hearing the demonetisation petitions tomorrow.

The Supreme Court Collegium had earlier hand-picked 77 names from state judicial services for appointments in High Courts across the country. But, in a controversial move, the government later rejected 43 names recommended by the Collegium.

In the latest development, the government has received 18 names of retired judges from the high courts of Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Allahabad as well as Calcutta and the names are under process, PTI reported citing highly-placed sources.

The extraordinary provision of the Constitution allows the appointment of retired judges with proven integrity and track record as judges of high courts to tackle rising pendency.

According to the provision, the chief justice of a high court, with the approval of the President, can request any person who has held the office of a judge of that court or any other high court to sit and act as a judge of the high court for that state, the news agency said.

The spat between the executive and the judiciary has been making the headline foe months as both complaining each side for the delay in the appointment of high court judges in the country.

Taking on the government over the issue recently, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur said the government’s attitude was lackadaisical from the very issue of filling vacancies to providing adequate infrastructure.

“Tribunals are not equipped and are lying empty. Today a situation has come that when no retired Supreme Court judge wants to head the Tribunal. I am pained to send my retired colleagues there,” Thakur was quoted by ANI news agency.

“Government is not ready to give proper facilities. Vacancy apart from infrastructure is a major concern for the Tribunal,” he added.

According to latest data, the 24 high courts in the country are short of 470 judges, up from 443 in January this year.