Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

New Delhi

The Supreme Court has 7 vacancies, 2 high courts are functioning without regular chief justices and 2 high court chief justices are set to retire in the next one and a half months, a government functionary said.

He said the government is awaiting recommendations from the apex court collegium to fill up the slots. The first vacancy in the SC arose following the retirement of Justice Ranjan Gogoi in November 2019 as the CJI.

Subsequently, a few more vacancies arose in the top court following the retirements of justices Deepak Gupta, R Bhanumathi, Arun Mishra, Indu Malhotra, and SA Bobde, who demitted office as the CJI last month. Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar died in April.

With a sanctioned strength of 34, the apex court is functioning with 27 judges at present.

The high courts of Allahabad and Calcutta are being run by acting chief justices.

The chief justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court will retire later this month, while the chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court will retire in June, the functionary pointed out.

The 25 high courts of the country have a combined sanctioned strength of 1,080 judges, but are functioning with 660, a shortfall of 420 judges, according to May 1 figures available on the website of the Department of Justice. Vacancies keep arising in courts due to retirement, resignation or elevation of judges.

The government has maintained that appointment of judges in high courts is a “continuous collaborative process” between the Executive and the Judiciary, as it requires consultation and approval from various constitutional authorities.

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