New Delhi: Four proposals for establishing benches of high courts had been received from state governments of Karnataka, West Bengal, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh, the Centre said on Monday.
Law Minister Ashwani Kumar stated this while replying to a question in Parliament.
He said that a proposal had been received from Karnataka for establishing two permanent benches of Karnataka High court at Dharwad and Gulbarga. He said that the proposal had the consent of the state government and the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.
"This has been processed for seeking approval of President on the advice of the Union cabinet," Kumar said.
He said that a proposal had been received to set up a circuit bench of the Calcutta High court at Jalpaiguri and it had the consent of the state government as well as the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High court.
The law minister said that this proposal had been processed pending the communication from the Calcutta High Court which has been requested to indicate the date of operationalisation of the Circuit bench.
He said the proposal by the Kerala government to set up a bench of Kerala High court at Thiruvananthapuram had not been agreed to by the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court.
He said that the proposal to set up a bench of Himachal Pradesh high court at Dharamsala had not been accepted by the Chief Justice of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh.
In response to another question, Law Minister Kumar said that as on March 1, 2013 there was a vacancy of five judges in the Supreme Court and 278 judges in various High Courts.
He added that as on February 28, 2013, the number of pending cases in the Supreme Court was 66,809 and in high courts 43,40, 867.