One-third of all judges’ posts at the High Court level and over a fifth of posts at the subordinate court level are currently vacant in India, the government said on Thursday.
In his written response to a question asked in the Lok Sabha, Law Minister Sadananda Gowda said that while the approved strength of the Supreme Court is of 31 judges, there are currently three vacancies.
In the High Courts, 381 of 1017 positions are vacant.60 % in Chhattisgarh
The situation in the Chhattisgarh High Court is the worst, with nearly 60 per cent of positions vacant, closely followed by the Allahabad High Court with over half of all sanctioned posts vacant.
At the subordinate judiciary level, over a fifth of all posts are vacant, with only 15,643 judges currently working as against a sanctioned strength of 20,214.
In Delhi, Gujarat and Bihar, over a third of all judges’ posts are vacant.
All levels taken together, India has 17 judges for every million people.
Since the collegium system of appointing judges has ceased to exist with the passing of the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, and a final Supreme Court verdict on the NJAC has been reserved, no action on the appointment of judges can be taken without court orders, Mr. Gowda has said in his reply.