Expressing serious concern over the poor judge-population ratio in the country, the chief justice of India has said that India needs more than 70,000 judges to clear the pending legal cases. Speaking at a programme organized by the Orissa high court, Chief justice of India, TS Thakur expressed concern over the shortage of judges and the delay in appointments while stating that access to justice was a fundamental right and governments cannot afford to deny it to the people. He said the government should expedite the process of filling up vacancies to ensure speedy delivery of justice.
After an emotional outburst over the issue in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a conference in New Delhi recently, the CJI once again raised the matter while addressing a large gathering of legal professionals on the occasion of the centennial celebrations of the circuit bench of the high court.
Shortage of judges is one of the formidable challenges the judiciary is facing in the country now, the CJI said, adding that out of some 900 sanctioned posts of judges in different high courts of the country, there are over 450 vacancies which need to be filled immediately. While the Law Commission of India in 1987 had suggested for having 44,000 judges to effectively tackle the then number of pending cases, the country even today has only 18,000 judges. Around 170 proposals for appointment of high court judges are pending with the government. The pending court cases in India has touched an alarming 3.14 crore.
The Logical Indian appeals to the Government of India to take necessary steps to make the appointment of judges faster. The number of pending cases in the country is increasing every single day. If this remains the scenario, then justice won’t be served to a majority of the people.