New Delhi: JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav on Wednesday raised in the Rajya Sabha the issue of paucity of judges over which Chief Justice TS Thakur recently broke down in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and contended that it was one of the reasons for overcrowding of jails.
Responding to this, Home Minister Rajnath Singh attempts are being made both at the level of the government as well as the judiciary to fill up the vacancies as soon as possible in both lower and higher judiciary, where the number of judges is less.
Yadav raised the issue in a supplementary during Question Hour after a reply by Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary on the issue of overcrowding of jails.
Holding that vacancies in the judiciary is one of the reasons for overcrowding in jails due to non-disposal of cases, Yadav recalled how the CJI broke down while raising the issue at a public function here recently attended by the Prime Minister.
"He (CJI) was also given an assurance there," the JD(U) leader said asking the Home Minister what was being done on the issue.
"One of the reasons for such a condition of jails is also due to vacancy of judges," he said.
Addressing the inaugural session of Joint Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts over a week back, the Chief Justice had said that "nothing moved" since 1987, when Law Commission recommended increase in the number of judges from then 10 per 10 lakh people to 50.
A teary-eyed Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had also lamented "inaction" by the Executive to increase the number of judges from the present 21,000 to 40,000 to handle the "avalanche" of litigations.
The Prime Minister assured him of his government's resolve in finding a solution jointly with the judiciary.
"... It is not only in the name of a litigant or people languishing in jails but also in the name of development of the country, its progress that I beseech you to rise to the occasion and realise that it is not enough to criticise. You cannot shift the entire burden on the judiciary," the Chief Justice of India had said in a choking voice then.