Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday said his ministry has not yet received about 280 names from the high courts and seven names from the Supreme Court for the posts of judges which are to be filled.
“We can process only those names which come from the high courts and Supreme Court. SC has seven vacancies, we have still not received the names. Once the names come, we will process it.
“High courts have 430 vacancies. Out of these, we have not received names of about 280. Once it comes, we’ll expedite the process,” said Prasad at the Ficci Annual General Meeting.
Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and the government have been at loggerheads over the appointment of judges.
“About 5,000 posts in different district courts all over the country are vacant. We have no role in this, nor the state government. Only high courts and Public Service Commissions have a role in it. This is one of the challenges we have. But we are working together.
“But, our comittment is to work with the Supreme Court and we maintain that judiciary’s independence must be respected we should continue to respect that,” Prasad said.
He also said that the government has already appointed 126 HC judges, which was highest ever since 1990.
“We have already appointed four SC judges, appointed or transferred about 30 HC judges and chief justices and confirmed names of about 124 additional judges,” said Prasad.
“The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act was quashed by the Supreme Court but regardless of that we have obeyed the judgment. But, SC also had said collegium system needed to be improved. They asked the government to reframe the memorandum of procedure,” he added.