Centre clears CJI’s proposal to increase Telangana HC bench strength from 24 to 42

File photo of the Telangana High Court in Hyderabad | Wikimedia Commons

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New Delhi: The Telangana High Court’s bench strength has been increased from 24 to 42 judges, one of the biggest jumps, as the Centre has agreed to the long pending proposal revived by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana.

Justice Ramana, soon after taking over as the CJI on April 24, reviewed all the pending proposals and took them up along with a host of issues concerning the judiciary with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who readily agreed to get the matters examined expeditiously , including the proposal to raise the bench strength of the high court, sources said.

The increase in sanctioned Bench strength of the Telangana High Court is with immediate effect and out of 42, 32 will be Permanent Judges and 10 will be Additional Judges, the sources said.

Now as per the scheme, which was pending approval with the Centre since February 2019, out of 42, 28 judges would be made from Bar quota and rest 14 judicial officers would be promoted under service category, they said.

With the CJI giving his requisite final approval to the proposed hike on June 8, the path is cleared for issuing notification in this regard by the Ministry of Law and Justice, they said.

Keeping the huge pendency of cases in Telangana High Court in mind, the proposal, duly endorsed by the Chief Minister and the Governor, to raise the sanctioned Bench strength was sent to the Union Law Ministry as early as on February 13, 2019 and was lying dormant, sources said, adding, the government examined it in detail and kept it in abeyance .

Later, even on re-examination of the proposal, the Centre on November 15, 2019, conveyed to the then Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court that the preference be given to filling-up vacancies first.

Thereafter the matter remained dormant till Justice Ramana assumed charge as the CJI, they said.

Justice Ramana, in his letter to the Law Minister on May 27, specifically raised the long pending proposal for hike in sanctioned Bench Strength from 24 to 42 of Telangana High Court, saying even after all vacancies are filled, it is highly inadequate to address the pendency, they said.

The pendency has gone up alarmingly to 2,37,000 cases, the CJI had written and had apprised that there was necessary infrastructure in place to accommodate 42 Judges in the High Court of Telangana.

The Law Ministry concurred with the proposal to enhance the sanctioned Bench strength from 24 to 42 and conveyed the same to the CJI, they said.

Also read: HC judges’ posts lying vacant, CJI writes to chief justices to expedite appointment process


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