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Report No. 121

I. Statement showing the strength and vacancies in various High Courts as on 30-6-86

Sl. No.

High Court

Sanctioned Strength

Total

Actual Strength

Total

Vacancies

 

Total

   

Pmt. Judges

Addl. Judges

 

Pmt. Judges

Addl. Judges

 

Pmt. Judges

Addl. Judges

 

1

Allahabad

54

6

60

45

-

45

9

6

15

2

Andhra Pradesh

24

2

26

18

-

18

6

2

8

3

Bombay

40

3

43

38

1

39

2

2

4

4

Calcutta

41

-

41

38

-

38

3

-

3

5

Delhi

25

2

27

22

-

22

3

2

5

6

Gauhati

8

1

9

8

-

8

-

1

1

7

Gujarat

18

3

21

17

 

17

1

3

4

8

Himachal Pradesh

5

1

6

5

1

6

-

-

-

9

Jammu & Kashmir

5

2

7

5

2

7

-

-

-

10

Karnataka

24

-

24

21

-

21

3

-

3

11

Kerala

15

3

18

15

3

18

 

-

 

12

Madhya Pradesh

23

6

29

22

4

26

1

2

3

13

Madras

25

-

25

21

-

21

4

-

4

14

Orissa

11

1

12

9

-

9

2

1

3

15

Patna

35

 

35

29

-

29

6

-

6

16

Punjab & Haryana

23

-

23

16

-

16

7

-

7

17

Rajasthan

21

1

22

19

1

20

2

-

2

18

Sikkim

3

-

3

2

-

2 1

-

1

 
   

400

31

431

350

12

362

50

19

69

Against the sanctioned strength of 431,362 Judges were in position, leaving 69 vacancies unfilled. Similarly, in the Supreme Court of India, on 30th June, 1986, against the sanctioned strength of 25, there were 11 vacancies. The position regarding cases pending in the Supreme Court and the High Courts would be available from the Table hereunder reproduced:-

The Position Regarding Cases Pending in The Supreme Court and High Courts as on 31-12-1986 and 31-12-1985 Respectively

1

Supreme Court of India  
Position as on 31-12-1986

1,52,969

2

High Courts  
Position as on 31-12-1985

13,77,7901

Even though Judges strove hard to keep abreast of the rising tide of inflow of work by almost doubling the output yet the court dockets remained unmanageable as would be evident from the figures herein quoted. The disposal per Judge in 1977 was 742.5 which rose to 1221.1 in 1978 and mildly tapered down to 1130.0 in 1979, yet during these very years, the arrears almost doubled.2

The relevant figures for the year 1980 when the recommendations must have become effective are:-

Supreme Court of India 79072
High Courts 4,79,686

One can say at a glance that during this period, there was a rising crescendo in the backlog of cases, a substantial part of which can be attributed to the delay in filling in vacancies. It has been noticed that on an average, it takes about one to two years in filling the vacancies and in some cases even as long as four years.3

1. Source: Report of the Ministry of Law & Justice.

2. R. Dhavan Litigation Explosion in India, 60, (1986).

3. 31st Report, Estimates Committee.

3.6. Even though there was an unexplained failure on the front of filling in vacancies, the Government, realising that the sanctioned strength of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts is inadequate, raised the sanctioned strength of the Supreme Court of India from 1+17 to 1+251 and of the High Courts by sanctioning 81 additional posts raising the permanent strength of Judges as well as sanctioning additional posts. The Table hereunder sets out increase in the strength of permanent and additional Judges by the Government of India with the position as on 20th March, 1987.

1. The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 1986, came into effect from 9-5-1986.



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