I. TIME-BOUND FILLING UP OF VACANCIES IN SUBORDINATE JUDICIARY
- As per the Constitution, the selection and appointment of judges in subordinate courts is the responsibility of State Governments and the respective High Courts. However, the Union Government, on its part, has been coordinating and monitoring with the States and High Courts for the expeditious filling up of vacant positions in District & Subordinate Courts.
- The Supreme Court, through a judicial order in Malik Mazhar Sultan & Anr vs. U.P Public Service Commission &Ors Appeal (Civil) No. 1867 of 2006 has devised a process in respect of selection and appointment of Judicial Officers in Subordinate Judiciary in a time bound manner.
- This order mandates a time frame to be followed for the time -bound filling up of vacancies in District and Subordinate Courts. The process for recruitment of judges in the subordinate courts would commence on 31 st March of a calendar year and end by 31 st October of the same year. The Supreme Court has permitted State Governments / High Courts for variations in the time schedule in case of any difficulty based on the peculiar geographical and climatic conditions in the State or other relevant conditions.
- The above order stipulates that filling up of vacancies, for the cadre of District Judge (entry level), would be done as per the following criterion:
- In compliance of the direction of Hon'ble Supreme Court in Malik Mazhar Sultan & Anr. vs. U.P. Public Service Commission & Ors., it is mandated that Status Report be furnished to Hon'ble Supreme Court by January 31 st of each year with a copy to the Minister for Law& Justice in the Central Government and Law Minister in the concerned State.
- By way of direct recruitment under 25% quota
- By way of promotion through a Limited Competitive Examination (accelerated recruitment by transfer) from among the category of Civil Judges (Senior Division) under 10% quota
- By way of regular promotion from the cadre of Civil Judge (Senior Division) under 65% quota.
Steps undertaken by Department of Justice for expeditious filling up of vacancies as per Malik Mazhar Sultan case guidelines:
- Hon'ble Minster of Law & Justice vide letter dated 14.08.2018 and 19.08.2021 had taken up this issue with Chief Justices of High Courts to monitor status of vacancies regularly and to ensure proper coordination with State Public Service Commission to fill up vacant posts stipulated by Supreme Court in Malik Mazhar Sultan case.
- Follow-up series of meetings were held with Registrars General of all High Courts and Law Secretaries of all State Governments / UTs through Video Conferencing in May and September, 2021 were held by the Department of Justice to follow up on filling up posts of Judicial Officers in District and Subordinate Courts amongst other issues.
- Online Reporting on Portal for "Data related to Vacancy" on Department of Justice website. The dedicated portal was live in May,2021 and RGs of all High Courts were requested to report relevant data for the past year vide letter dated 20.05.2021.
- The sanctioned and working strength of Judicial Officers in District and Subordinate Courts* has increased as follows:
|As On||Sanctioned Strength||Working Strength||Vacancy|