New Delhi: With high courts facing a shortage of 470 judges, the government has forwarded to the Supreme Court Collegium names of 78 persons from state judicial services and the bar recommended by various state collegium's for appointment as judges.
Sources in the government said the recommendations made by various high court collegiums have been forwarded to the SC Collegium in two sets of 57 and 21.
As per the established practice, the high courts send their recommendations to the Centre which, in turn, "processes" the file such as seeking Intelligence Bureau reports on the candidates and forwards them to the SC Collegium for a decision.
After going though the recommendations, the SC Collegium then recommends some of the names for appointment or elevation. The government, based on its feedback, either accepts the recommendation or returns it to the SC Collegium with a request to reconsider.
The 24 high courts in the country are short of 470 judges, up from 443 in January this year, latest data show.
The rise in the vacancies comes at a time when the executive and the judiciary continue to have differences over key clauses of a document which will guide future appointments to the higher judiciary.
At the beginning of the year, the shortage was of 443 judges, while in the later part of 2015 it was 392, data available with the Law Ministry state.
As on July 1, high courts were facing a shortage of 470 judges, with the Allahabad High Court having the maximum vacancies at 82.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court is short of 39 judges, followed by Madras (37), Andhra Pradesh/Telangana (36) and Karnataka (35).
The high courts of Allahabad, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Patna, Punjab and Haryana and Rajasthan are also functioning with acting chief justices.