Govt. has cleared 7 of over 100 names suggested by Collegium for HC judge posts: CJI

He says he expects govt. to clear the rest soon.

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Saturday said the government has so far cleared seven of the 106 names recommended as High Court judges by the Supreme Court Collegium since May.

Of the nine new Chief Justices of various High Courts suggested by the Collegium to the government from May, the latter has cleared one.

“Since May, my team so far has recommended appointment of 106 Judges and nine new Chief Justices to various High Courts. The government has cleared seven names out of the 106 judges and one out of the nine Chief Justices, so far. I expect that the government will clear the rest of the names very soon,” Chief Justice Ramana said.

The CJI, however, remarked that Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has agreed to process the rest of the names in a short while.

“The government has cleared some and the Law Minister has said the rest of things are going to come in a short time, in one or two days,” the CJI said.

Chief Justice Ramana was speaking at the inaugural function of the six-week ‘The Pan India Legal Awareness and Outreach Campaign’ organised by the National Legal Services Authority.

The CJI’s speech was made in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind, Mr. Rijiju and Supreme Court judges and Collegium members Justices U.U. Lalit and A.M. Khanwilkar.

The CJI said the appointments, as they come through from the government side, would take care of the issues of pendency in the High Courts to some extent.

“I seek the cooperation and support of the government to enable access to justice and to strengthen democracy,” Chief Justice Ramana said.

The CJI said the endeavour of the nation should be to carry the flag of justice to its remotest corner and to the weakest person.

Chief Justice Ramana said inclusive growth can only be attained through equal and inclusive access to justice. Unequal access to justice leads to greater gaps in social fabric.

Apart from pendency, vacancies and piling up of thousands of cases, the pandemic has exposed some deep-rooted problems in society.

“Lack of health care, eviction from home and uncertainty about one’s next meal — all these overflow from absence of justice,” Chief Justice Ramana said.

President Kovind commended the legal service authorities for reaching out to the poorest in the country. He emphasised the need to have more women lawyers participating in legal aid services to bring legal relief to more women.

“As a country, our aim is to graduate from ‘women development’ to ‘women-led development’. Therefore, increasing the number of women in National Legal Services Institutions is as important as reaching out to the largest possible number of women beneficiaries,” the President said.

The CJI said socio-economic growth would be impossible to achieve without equal access to justice.

Legal awareness is key to equal access to justice… Quality of democracy lies in the quality of justice rendered. Healthy democracy needs a vibrant judiciary,” Chief Justice Ramana said.

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