Judges' posts: Quota sought for SCs, STs, BCs

Bangalore Jan. 25. L.G. Havanur, Chairman of the Lawyers' Forum for Social Justice, today demanded that some posts of judges in High Courts and the Supreme Court be reserved for backward classes, SCs, and STs.

Addressing a press conference here, he referred to the report of the M.N. Venkatachalaiah Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution in support of his demand. Of the 610 posts of High Court judges in the country, there were only 20 SC/ST judges in 2001. In the Supreme Court, there was not even a single judge belonging to the two categories.

Mr. Havanur said of the 481 posts of judges filled in High Courts, there were 20 SCs and STs against the legitimate share of 120 (25 per cent).

He said a resolution was passed at a convention of the forum held in New Delhi recently seeking the implementation of the M.N.Venkatachalaiah Commission's recommendation to set up a National Judicial Commission to select candidates for the posts of judges. There should be representation to each category on it. The 1994 verdict by the seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court deprived these sections of representation in higher posts of the Judiciary. The parliamentarians should take up the issue, he added.

Mr. Havanur sought a ban on judges accepting post-retirement appointments or assignments, including arbitration and consultation. The other demands of the forum were reservation in employment in the private sector and educational institutions of excellence, and reservation in promotions for backward classes.

Ravivarma Kumar, trustee of the forum, said the first State-level convention of the forum would be held in Bangalore on February 8 and 9. Nearly 2,000 delegates from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi would participate in it, he added.