The Maharashtra government has sanctioned 348 new posts of judicial officers across the state. This will take the strength from 2,012 to 2,360.
The National Court Management Systems Committee (NCMSC), in 2012, had recommended creation of 3,211 more posts of judges across the state to deal with the increased caseload.
Additional government pleader PP Kakade informed a division bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Gauri Godse on December 19 that they have sanctioned the 348 news posts and the proposal for sanction of remaining 2,863 posts will be placed before the cabinet soon.
Need for adequate court infrastructure for speedy disposal of cases
The bench was dealing with a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by one Vaijnath Vaze seeking direction to the state to increase the strength of judges and provide adequate court infrastructure for speedy disposal of cases.
In September 2018, a bench led by Justice Abhay Oka (now Supreme Court judge) had directed the government to take necessary steps expeditiously for appointment of judges at the district level.
Initially, the HC, on December 1, noted that the government has not taken any “real efforts” pursuant to its September 2018 judgment with regard to appointment of judges. The bench directed the Law and Judiciary department to file a report on the status of steps taken by the state government to address concerns raised in PIL.
Advocate SR Nargolkar, appearing for the high court, pointed out that the government had raised a query on the financial aspect. Nargolkar said it was a delaying tactic since the government is aware about the pay scale of the judges and the support staff required. It was only a question of arithmetic calculation to work out the financial implications.
On December 19, Kakade submitted a report of the Deputy Legal Advisor-cum-Deputy Secretary, Law and Judiciary department, which stated that 348 new posts were created. Kakade added that the government has granted approval for the remaining 2,863 posts along with approval of creating necessary posts for support staff. The same will be placed before the cabinet soon.
The HC has kept the matter for hearing on January 8, 2024, when it has to be informed regarding the cabinet’s decision.
The HC has kept the matter for hearing on January 8.