GR Raghavender, Joint Secretary of the Union Law Ministry.
GR Raghavender, Joint Secretary of the Union Law Ministry.

New Delhi: Although judicial vacancies are a serious problem, the central government’s role in filling vacancies is limited, observed Joint Secretary of the Union Law Ministry, GR Raghavender on Sunday. Raghavender was speaking on what the government is doing to improve the Indian Legal System in an online interactive session hosted by Spread Law.

The webinar saw Advocate Sumit Nagpal pose questions on pertinent topics including judicial delays, case pendency, judicial vacancies and the working of virtual courts. On the issue of judicial vacancies, Raghavender pointed out that the Central Government does not come into the picture at all in the appointment of district and subordinate judges.

The Centre is only involved in the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary, and that too after the Collegium has decided on proposals. The Government is working with the Collegium to fill judicial vacancies at this level, he added.

On HC appointments, he said since 2014, 543 judges (including 464 additional judges) were appointed. SC vacancies were also filled up when they arose, he said.

Patna High Court
Patna High Court

Fill up doctor vacancies in rural areas: Patna HC raps Bihar govt

Observing that the State government was “neglecting rural areas” in terms of appointment of doctors, the Patna High Court recently directed the Chief Secretary to fill up doctor vacancies in rural areas and difficult terrains, either through transfers or recruitments “to the maximum extent possible.”

A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar ordered, "The Chief Secretary, Govt of Bihar shall, with the normalization of the current Pandemic COVID-19, ensure that vacancies in the rural/ remote/ difficult areas are filled up to the maximum extent possible, either by transfer or expediting the process of recruitment.” HC expressed displeasure the vacancies of doctors in rural areas is extremely high and grossly disproportionate as against the doctors in the urban area.

Suprem Court
Suprem Court
File photo

First paperless SC proceedings

New Delhi: A bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud on Monday led the first paperless proceedings in the Supreme Court — there were no paper files before the bench and all 3 judges worked on their laptops.

Justice Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi were the other members of the bench. Twenty-three matters were listed before the court. Sources said the case files were electronically transferred to the judges a day before so they could study them and make notes on their laptops. “On Monday, when the hearing was on, the three judges did not have paper files – hard copies of the petition – with them. They read the case papers from their respective laptops and even made notes on them,” a senior official said.

‘Delay in judicial appointments not because of Govt’

Consider representation seeking financial aid for newsmen: K’taka HC

The Karnataka High Court recently directed the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the state’s Department of Information and Public Relations to consider a representation seeking financial assistance for families of media persons amid the COVID-19 crisis. Passing the direction, the Bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Suraj Govindaraj acknowledged media persons were putting themselves at risk in order to disseminate information.

1984 riots: Convict’s sentence suspended

The Delhi HC on Monday suspended for 12 weeks the life imprisonment sentence awarded to one of the convicts in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case as he was suffering from chronic kidney ailment and was highly vulnerable to a contagious disease like COVID-19. A bench of Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula, noted, hearing through video conferencing, Naresh Sehrawat was admitted to the medicine ward of the Central Jail Hospital, Tihar. “Sin­ce the petitioner (Sehrawat) is a chronic kidney disease, stage-IV patient and is admitted in the medicine ward of the Central Jail hospital and is highly vulne­ra­ble to a contagious disease.”

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