'Courtrooms are vacant but we've no judges': CJI TS Thakur lambasts Centre on appointment of HC judges

The Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on Saturday took on the Centre and said that the central government is not ready to give proper facilities to judiciary. In principle, the CJI said, the judiciary was not against the formation of Tribunals because it would relieve court duties, but the problem arose from the lack of adequate infrastructure provided to the Tribunals.

Lambasting the Narendra Modi government further, CJI said vacancy, apart from infrastructure, is a major concern for Tribunals. He also expressed his displeasure on the issue of vacancy and said, "Several tribunals are empty. I am pained to send my retired colleagues there."

Courtrooms are vacant but weve no judges: CJI TS Thakur lambasts Centre on appointment of HC judges

Chief Justice of India TS Thakur. Image courtesy: CNN-News18

Thakur has often been critical of the government and has given statements in the past concerning issues plaguing the judiciary system in the country. Thakur claimed that Tribunals are not equipped and said, "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. Government is not ready to give proper facilities. Vacancy apart from infrastructure is a major concern for the Tribunal."

Hinting that the government was not doing enough about filling the vacancies, Thakur questioned government's resolve to do anything about it and said, "There are around 500 vacancies in High Courts today. 500 High Court judges should be working today, they are not working." In a series of tweets, ANI reported:

Responding to Thakur's allegations, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government "respectfully" disagreed with the Chief Justice of India and said that this year 120 judges were appointed:

In the past too, Thakur on public platforms, has made several demands for expediting the appointment of judges. He had accused the central government of sitting on the appointments and claimed that the Centre’s attitude had brought the entire legal system to a grinding halt.

In April, the CJI had made an emotional appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and broke down several times in his half-an-hour speech at the chief justices conference. He had urged the prime minister to speed up the delivery of justice in the country. According to a report by The Hindu"Therefore not only in the name of the litigant… the poor litigant languishing in jail but also in the name of the country and progress, I beseech you to realise that it is not enough to criticise the judiciary… you cannot shift the entire burden to the judiciary," Thakur had said in an emotional address to the government.

On 18 November, the Supreme Court collegium had refused to accept the government's rejection of 43 of the 77 names that were recommended for the judicial appointments in the High Courts. The government had made appointments of 37 names. Regarding the issue, Thakur had said that "We (Collegium) have already met. We have reiterated all the 43 names sent to us."

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Nov 26, 2016 15:15:58 IST

Also See