For some time, there has been a situation of confrontation between the Central Government and the Supreme Court Collegium on the issue of appointment of judges. Now the government has once again sent a message to the judiciary on this issue. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has said in the Rajya Sabha that the government is committed to social diversity in the appointment of judges in high courts. He said that we have asked the Chief Justices of the High Courts to give priority to SC, ST, OBC, minority and women candidates while recommending the names of judges. This will maintain social diversity in the High Courts.
Kiren Rijiju gave this information in a written reply to a question by BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi. Sushil Kumar Modi had asked how many judges from SC, ST, OBC and minority communities have been appointed in the Supreme Court and High Courts in the last 5 years. To this, Rijiju replied that in the last 5 years, 554 judges have been appointed in 25 High Courts. Of these, 430 judges belong to the general category. 19 judges are scheduled caste. 6 judges belong to ST category and 58 judges belong to OBC communities. Apart from this, 27 judges from minority sections have also got appointment.
Of these, a total of 84 judges are women. Regarding the recommendations of the Collegium and the appointment of judges, the Law Minister said that there are a total of 34 posts of judges in the Supreme Court. Of these, 27 are at present and 7 posts are vacant. He said that a recommendation has been made by the Supreme Court Collegium recently for appointment to the posts of these 7 judges. However, there are still massive vacancies in the High Courts. There are a total of 1108 posts of judges in 25 High Courts of the country. Of these, 333 are still vacant. The minister said that a total of 142 proposals have been sent by the High Court collegiums, which are currently being discussed.
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