The buzz around the skyrocketing number of unfulfilled judicial posts is often heard from many platforms about high courts and supreme court. But, fewer know that as much as 26% of judges are missing from the 707 district courts across India. These district judges are appointed solely by high courts, with state governments having varying levels of responsibility. Instead of recruiting new judges, many of the high courts are delaying the promotions and rank upgradations of existing district-level judges solely for the statistical reasons. However, this strategy of several high courts is turning counter-productive by unmotivating their existing well-performing judges. NewsLoose sources in judiciary told that district judges with same years of experience under one high court are often at completely different levels when compared to their peers in district courts under different high-court. This is causing a great dissatisfaction among judicial officers posted in the states like Jhakarkhad where this delay is largely observed.
As a result, almost 2.5 crore cases are pending in Indian district courts, more than six times compared to 40 lakhs that are in high courts.
Speaking to a news daily junior law minister PP Chaudhary told that the Centre or any state government is not to blame for the many vacancies among judicial officers. “The government has nothing to do with filling these posts,” he said. “These appointments are directly under the high courts. We are hoping these will be filled soon.”
On the other hand, collusion among high court judges for higher judiciary appointments in form of Collegium System is still continuing despite all criticism by people within and outside the judiciary. Recently, a news portal Millennium Post reported that a collegium of Karnataka High Court recommended the elevation of nine advocates from the Bar to the high court as judges in a questionable way. Six out of nine belong to the same caste as the Chief Justice and the rest are kith and kin of judges.
The silence of top court despite this situation is hard to understand. Any further delay by high courts is only causing injustice to the people with pending cases and besides injustice to its own demotivated district judges who have been kept back.