- The Collegium has recommended 68 names as judges for 12 High Courts
- Hope the government will clear the names expeditiously, said the CJI
- Cannot speak about the names, but we will be positive, said the Minister
The collegium has recommended record 68 names in one go for elevation as judges to a dozen High Courts, Chief Justice NV Ramana said today, underscoring that he expects the government to clear it with the same expediency as it did while clearing the names for appointment as judges of the Supreme Court. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju was present on stage when the remarks were made.
"Union Law Minister is here. I hope that government will clear the names expeditiously, just like it cleared the nine names for elevation to the Supreme Court," said Chief Justice Ramana at an event organised by the Bar Council of India.
"I cannot speak about the names of the proposed Judges. But we will be positive," was the Minister's response to reporters later.
The Chief Justice said after a week's time he will present a "voluminous report" to the Law Minister about infrastructure issues in courts so that the government can take care of it.
In rural areas, the Chief Justice said, lawyers are losing out on their jobs because of difficulties in approaching digital resources.
"In every other place bigger lawyers are appearing via video conferencing...This is a dangerous pattern, it leads to inequality," said Chief Justice Ramana.
"With a young and dynamic Union Law Minister we can expect things to progress at a rapid pace," the Chief Justice added.
Injecting a dash of humour, the Chief Justice said when he first met the Law Minister he thought of him as a "college student", but did not press him on his age.
"I have a law degree, but I don't have the experience of practising law," the Minister told the Chief Justice during their first meeting.
"Then you won't have prejudices against Judges," the Chief Justice had answered back then in lighter vein.
The 12 High Courts for which the recommendations have been made are: Allahabad, Rajasthan, Calcutta, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Madras, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Assam.
Among the names cleared for 12 High Courts, 44 are from the Bar and 24 are from the Judicial Service. In all, there are 10 women who have been recommended for elevation.