Former judges back Supreme Court on appointment of judges

New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) Former judges on Friday backed the Supreme Court on the issue of appointment of judges and said delaying the appointments for nine months was an “unusually long time”.

They also said that if judges are not appointed in time, then justice will be delayed and eventually denied.

“If we don’t appoint judges in time, justice will inevitably be delayed. It will be denied actually. There is no justification on the part of the government for this delay,” said former Attorney-General Soli Sorabjee.

“I think the Chief Justice was absolutely justified in expressing his indignation at the delay in appointment of the judges by the government after the collegium is cleared,” he added.

Sorabjee also said that it was for the collegium to decide. “It is not the government who has the final say. Government has a voice but not a veto,” said Sorabjee.

Former Supreme Court Judge Ashok Ganguly said the administration of justice is the central theme in constitutional governance.

“If the people cannot get justice and the court cannot redress people’s grievances due to lack of judges, then it creates a crisis,” said Ganguly.

“On an average, most of the high courts are working with 30 to 40 per cent vacancies. It is a great impediment in the administration of justice. Even if all the vacancies are filled, that will not be adequate. It is an institutional deadlock,” he added.

Ganguly further said: “The CJI has made that point clear on a number of occasions. The names are pending with the government for nine months. It is unusually a long time to settle on the names.”