The Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana has asked the Chief Justices of High Courts to ensure that recommendations for judicial appointments to the High Courts reflect the social diversity of the country.
Chief Justice Ramana said this during his first-ever live and direct interaction with High Court Chief Justices. The discussion spanned two days and four sessions.
The CJI also placed before the Chief Justices of High Courts the representations made by various Bar bodies to include lawyers primarily practising in the Supreme Court in the zone of consideration while recommending the names of judges for their High Courts.
The CJI also reminded the Chief Justices of the High Courts to expedite the process of filling-up of vacancies, particularly in the High Courts. This is a follow-up to the letter the CJI had written to the CJs of High Courts in this regard in the first week of May, 2021, soon after he had taken over as top judge.
During the interaction, the Chief Justice of Madras High Court informed the CJI about the vaccine hesitancy seen in some areas of the State. The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, however, conveyed his satisfaction on the cooperation and assistance given by the Tamil Nadu government in the vaccination drive.
The session also saw the CJI convey to the Chief Justices his vision to draw from the experience of the pandemic and build modern, self-contained courts with a permanent facility to hold virtual hearings in every courtroom.
The Chief Justice reiterated his wish to create a National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation and take forward a “nation plan” for judicial infrastructure on a priority basis.
The Chief Justices of the High Courts of Bombay, Punjab and Haryana and Andhra Pradesh requested the CJI to intervene to remove roadblocks preventing them from augmenting the infrastructure in the courts within their jurisdiction.
The High Court Chief Justices also flagged the apparent “digital divide” seen in rural and tribal areas. They said the lack of digital connectivity had impacted judicial functioning. A proposal for mobile video conferencing vans was discussed.
Chief Justice Ramana assured the High Courts that the Supreme Court would take up with the Centre the highlighted issues regarding sufficient vaccine supply, connectivity and court infrastructure.