The immediate context is the existence of more than
5,000 vacancies in the subordinate courts.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has
pulled up State governments and the administration of various High Courts for
the delay in filling these vacancies.
Answers provided in the Rajya Sabha reveal that as on
March 31, 2018, nearly a quarter of the total number of posts in the subordinate
courts remained vacant. The court has put the actual figure at 5,133 out 22,036
The State-wise figures are quite alarming, with Uttar
Pradesh having a vacancy percentage of 42.18 and Bihar 37.23. Among the smaller
States, Meghalaya has a vacancy level of 59.79%.
The reasons are not difficult to guess: utter tardiness in
the process of calling for applications, holding recruitment examinations and
declaring the results, and, more significantly, finding the funds to pay and
accommodate the newly appointed judges and magistrates.
Besides, Public Service Commissions should recruit the
staff to assist these judges, while State governments build courts or identify
space for them.