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Additional judges’ term extended by two years

J. Venkatesan

State nod for increasing judges’ strength from 49 to 60

Justice Venkataraman made permanent judge

4,28,832 cases pending in Madras High Court

NEw Delhi: President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday extended by two years the term of four additional judges of the Madras High Court — Justices K. Chandru, V. Ramasubramanian, S. Manikumar and A. Selvam. They will be sworn in by Chief Justice A.K. Ganguly on Thursday.

Justice K. Venkataraman on Wednesday was sworn in as a permanent judge. All the five judges were initially appointed for a two-year term in 2006. However, only Justice Venkataraman could be made permanent as there was a vacancy for the permanent judge post.

Meanwhile the Tamil Nadu government has approved a proposal of the Madras High Court to increase the strength of judges from 49 to 60. The move to increase the strength of judges was pending consideration after the constitutional authorities had approved the proposal. The Union Law Ministry is expected to act on the proposal shortly and issue a notification increasing the strength to 60.

Considering the huge backlog of cases in various High Courts, the Centre had contemplated increasing the strength of judges in a phased manner.

The present total sanctioned strength of all 21 High Courts is 876 and the working strength is 594 with 282 vacancies as on April 22. The total sanctioned strength will go up once the Centre notifies the increased strength in various High Courts.

The total pendency of cases, both civil and criminal in the 21 High Courts as on December 31, 2007 is 37,43,060. The pendency in Madras High Court is 4,28,832, including 3,92,824 civil cases and 36,008 criminal cases. Increasing the strength of judges to 60 is expected to considerably increase the rate of disposal and reduce the pendency in the Madras High court.

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