Over 26 per cent posts of judicial officers lying vacant in subordinate judiciary in 6 states: SC told
The affidavit was filed in the apex court by senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, one of the four amicus curiae in a matter related to filling of vacancies in subordinate judiciary
The Supreme Court has been informed about over 26 per cent of the 7,881 sanctioned posts of judicial officers lying vacant in the subordinate judiciary of six states.
Madhya Pradesh, with a sanctioned strength of 2,021 judicial officers in the subordinate judiciary has 671 vacancies, while Odisha, which has a sanctioned strength of 929 judges in the lower judiciary, has 174 vacant posts.
The affidavit filed in the apex court by senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, one of the four amicus curiae in a matter related to filling of vacancies in subordinate judiciary, has given the status of vacancies and necessary infrastructure in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Haryana.
The report filed by Hansaria and advocate Sneha Kalita said Bihar has 449 vacancies against the sanctioned strength of 2016 and Tamil Nadu has 272 vacant positions against 1340 sanctioned posts.
Punjab has a sanctioned strength of 797 judges and 209 vacancies, while Haryana has 778 posts and 308 vacancies.
The top court had taken the affidavit on record when the matter was heard on Thursday.
It took another step towards digitising the judiciary by seeking a concept note for setting up an on-line portal which will contain real time information about vacancies in district judiciary and judicial infrastructure across the country.
With regard to infrastructure, Hansaria said there are 812 court halls in Odisha as against the sanctioned strength of 929 judicial officers. There are 706 residential units available for them.
With regard to Madhya Pradesh, he said, it has 1541 courts available as against the sanctioned strength of 2021 judicial officers. He said there are 1284 residential units available for them.
Hansaria said Bihar has 1505 court halls and 90 are under construction, while it has 1197 residential units available for 2016 judicial officers and 60 are under construction.
In Tamil Nadu, Hansaria said there are 1212 court halls. The state has residential units for all the 1340 judicial officers including 594 in rented buildings.
Hansaria's report said in Punjab there are 601 court halls including 32 temporary court rooms, while it has residential units available for all the judicial officers. Similarly, for Haryana, he said the state has sufficient court rooms for its 778 judicial officers and adequate residential units for all of them.
"Proposals by High Courts for funds and allocation of land are pending with both the State and Central Governments for infrastructure of Courts and residential facilities," he said in his report.
Hansaria urged the top court to direct the states to issue appointment letters in all cases where selection has been completed and the recommendation for appointment made by the high courts within a period of four weeks.
"It is further submitted that the Central Government and the State Government may be directed to disburse the amount for construction of the Court building and improvement of infrastructure in terms of the proposal made by the High Court within a time frame fixed by this Court," he said.
Hansaria said in case of non-disbursal of fund by the state government, the Centre may be directed to disburse the same at the first instance subject to final adjustment to be made by it with the state government.
"It is also submitted that in some of the States proposals by the High Court for allotment of land is pending with the State Government. The State Governments may be directed to allot appropriate land for building infrastructure facilities for the District Judiciary in terms of the proposal made," he said.
Hansaria added the high court and the state Government may be directed to hold a joint meeting within a time frame and submit details of the steps taken by way of a report to the top court.