Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court as well as raise the retirement age of high court judges to 65 years.
Justice Gogoi has also urged the Prime Minister to make tenure appointments of retired top court judges and high court judges under Articles 128 and 224A of the Constitution respectively to clear the backlog of cases pending for years.
The Chief Justice, who wrote three letters to the PM, said there more than 58,000 cases were pending in the Supreme Court and the number was increasing due to new cases every day.
Because of a shortage of judges, the required number of constitution benches to decide important cases involving questions of law were not being formed, the Chief Justice said.
“You would recall that way back in 1988, about three decades ago, the judge strength of the SC was increased from 18 to 26, and then again after two decades in 2009, it was increased to 31, including the CJI, to expedite disposal of cases to keep pace with the rate of institution,” he wrote.
“I request you to kindly consider, on top priority, to augment the judge-strength in the SC appropriately so that it can function more efficiently and effectively as it will go a long way to attain the ultimate goal of rendering timely justice to the litigant public,” Justice Gogoi wrote.
In his second letter, the Chief Justice urged PM Modi to consider bringing a constitutional amendment to increase the retirement age of high court judges from 62 to 65 years.
“In my view also, if retired HC judges are considered for appointment in tribunals beyond the age of 62 years, they may continue in HCs up to 65 years. The proposal suggested will ensure continued availability of more experienced judges for a longer tenure,” he wrote.