New Delhi: Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on Monday pulled up Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not including issue of judges appointment in his third Independence Day speech and said he is 'disappointed' by PM's I-Day address to the nation.
"I heard Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's speech and was hoping there would be something on appointment of judges. However, the PM's speech disappointed me. I request the government to pay attention to the issues plaguing the judiciary, especially the appointment of judges," CJI TS Thakur said.
Stressing that the Narendra Modi government must consider the rising burden of judges the country's judiciary is facing due to vacancy and pendency, Thakur said further, "The government are doing great work for its people, but they should also think about the judiciary system of this country."
"During British era, verdict in a case used to come out in 10 years, however, today's even 100 years are not enough to give a verdict in a case, thanks to the lacking number of judges in courtrooms today," he added further.
The CJI's anguish came on a day when PM Modi in his third Independence Day speech highlighted his government’s achievements over the last two years.
On Saturday, a bench led by CJI Thakur came down heavily on the government while hearing a PIL on shortage of judges and delay in filling up vacancies, a week after the government declined to yield to the Collegium’s objections in the MoP with respect to the executive having the final say in rejecting names.
“We won’t tolerate a logjam in judges’ appointment. It is stifling the judicial work. We will fasten accountability now. Why is there mistrust? If this logjam continues, we will be forced to interfere judicially. We will ask for every file that was sent to you by the Collegium,” the CJI, who heads the Collegium in the Supreme Court, told Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.
The CJI had cautioned the government that if matters continued in the same vein, the court would be forced to intervene judicially and call for every file of every recommendation forwarded by the Collegium to the government for clearance.
Thakur had made an emotional appeal at a convocation last April in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the rising burden of judges due to vacancies and pendency.