There is no need for judges to work longer hours and vacation for courts are not holidays for them, but they are meant to enable them to improve the quality of their work in delivering judgments.

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid said this on Saturday after launching the ‘Mission mode programme for reduction of pendency in courts in Karnataka,’ initiated by the Karnataka High Court and the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority here as part of the second phase of a nationwide drive launched last year.

“A judge is not a machine or computer to give instant solutions. He acts like a philosopher, creator… Vacations aren’t holidays for judges. They need time to absorb, reflect on the subjects, to give quicker and quality judgments,” Mr. Khurshid said.

A judge’s role was critical in guiding society. One could expect a quicker judgment, but at the cost of the quality of justice, he noted.

The Minister admitted that the quality of judgment would depend on the quality of persons elevated to courts. He regretted that in the recent past, quality law products from reputed national law universities were not taking up law as practice, but were joining the corporate sector.

Superannuation

Referring to a proposal for increasing the age of superannuation of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, he said he felt judges’ valuable experience could be utilised by increasing the retirement age. But there were different views on this aspect.

A step forward could be to increase the retirement age of High Court judges, from the existing 62 to 65, which is the present retirement age of Supreme Court judges.

Judges’ strength

As to increasing the number of judges, he said one should adopt a proper formula before taking a decision, as there was a debate if the number of judges should depend on the population, or the number of cases instituted in courts.

The Union government was working towards increasing the strength of judges in subordinate courts by 10 per cent, based on a recent Supreme Court direction.

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