MPs’ panel wants steps to raise the number of judges

New Delhi: A parliamentary panel has expressed “displeasure” over availability of just 13 judges per million in India as against 50 per million in developed and 35-40 per million in developing countries, and called on the government to “make all out efforts” to fill the vacancies.

The committee on empowerment of women in its report noted that India has 18,000 positions of judges at the subordinate judiciary level.

“This is about 13 judges for every one million population. This is against an average of 50 judges per one million population in developed countries and 35-40 in some other developing countries. The committee has also been given to understand that in the high courts, there are 895 permanent judges, whereas the actual strength is less than 700 judges,” it said.

The committee expressed concern over the fact that of the 18,800 judges’ posts, around 3,000 were lying vacant – which comes to about 20 percent of the total posts.

The report said that the committee was informed by the department of justice that of the 18,000 judges, about 15,000 are presiding over courts and there is a proposal to add another 15,000 positions in the next five years to take the number to 30,000.

However, it said that even this would not suffice.

“The committee are of considered opinion that even after increasing the strength of judges, the judge-population ratio in the country would be far less than the ratio in other developed/developing countries,” it said.

“In the light of the foregoing, the committee recommend that the government should make allout efforts to fill up all the existing vacant posts of judges at the subordinate level as in the High Courts.”

The committee also directed the government to apprise it of the concrete steps taken by it to bring the judge-population ratio at least to a level of 35-40 judges per million population, if not 50 judges per one million population as existing in developed countries.

– IANS

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