Government Attitude Towards High Court Vacancies ‘Recalcitrant’, Says Supreme Court
That no action is taken on the recommendations of the collegium for months and years will lead to a situation where early hearing of even important cases in the high courts will not be possible, the Supreme Court of India has observed in an order this week.
The top court said the government has a "recalcitrant attitude" towards appointing judges of the high courts.
The bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Hrishikesh Roy pointed to the Delhi High Court, which in a week’s time will have only 29 judges against a sanctioned strength of 60.
The apex court made these observations while hearing a petition relating to a government investigation on anti-dumping proceedings. The Delhi High Court had issued a notice in the case and asked the parties to file a response. Against the issue of notice, an appeal was filed in the top court.
The bench noted that this was hardly a stage at which the Supreme Court of the country should be asked to step in and normally it would have called the parties to approach the high court to seek an early hearing of the dispute. But, the top court said, it could hardly say so ‘’when the high court is so manned with less than half the strength.’’
...the government must realise that early adjudication of commercial disputes is the necessity for which there has to be adequate number of Judges..Supreme Court of India
The facts paint an even a sorrier picture of the government’s conduct, the bench pointed out.
Given the urgency of the case, the high court had granted it four weeks to file a reply and had agreed to hear the petition on July 19. But no reply was filed by the government which led to the case being adjourned till October 2021. Instead of filing the reply, an appeal to the Supreme Court was filed on July 17, the apex court said.
Thus on one hand, the government does not deem it expedient to even file the counter affidavits while it has the ability to draw (up) the special leave petitions and file the same before this court. So much for the urgency expressed by the Government of India in the present proceedings!Supreme Court of India
The observations come just a week after the Chief Justice of India-led bench questioned the government over vacancies in the tribunals across the country. In that hearing, the bench pointed to over 240 vacancies in 15 tribunals across the country and asked whether the bureaucracy was actually interested in filling the vacancies.