New Delhi: The Law Ministry has suggested
increasing the retirement age of High Court judges to 65 from
the present 62 years to fill up the over 200 vacancies.
"Raising the retirement age of High Court Judges from 62
to 65 years will also aid in elimination of vacancies," a Law
Ministry proposal approved by the Union Cabinet says.
The combined sanctioned strength of judges in the 21 High
Courts of the country is 886, but the actual working strength
is 652, leading to a deficit of 234 judges, the Law Ministry
said quoting Supreme Court statistics.
Former Law Minister Hansraj Bharadwaj had floated the
idea of increasing the retirement age of HC judges, but after
the change of guard, the proposal is pending with the
Department of Justice.
Increasing the retirement age of HC judges will require a
constitutional amendment which needs political unanimity, Law
Ministry sources pointed out.
In the Supreme Court, there are five vacancies out of a
total sanctioned strength of 31 judges.
Same is the case with the lower judiciary where the
vacancies have been pegged at 2,998. The total number of
judicial posts at district and subordinate level are 16,721.