The government on Tuesday also notified the appointment of Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar as the acting chief justice of the J&K high court. Justice Sudhakar is the senior most judge of the J&K HC.
According to the law ministry notifications, five additional judges were made permanent in Kerala HC; four in the Allahabad HC; 10 in the Rajasthan HC; six in the Bombay HC and seven in the Gujarat HC.
Additional judges are appointed for a two-year tenure and then based on their performances these judges are made permanent. As on March 1, 2018, the 24 high courts in the country had a working strength of 673 judges with 406 positions vacant. The total sanctioned strength is 1,079 judges.
The high courts have long pendency of cases, and among other reasons, the large number of vacancies of judges is also contributing to delay in disposal of cases. The vacancies of judges in the subordinate courts have gone up to 6,000. This has also resulted in the pendency of subordinate courts going up to more than 2.65 crore cases.
Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal are among states having higher pendency of cases, older than 10 years.
Gujarat at about 20% has the highest percentage of cases which are pending for over 10 years, followed by Odisha at 17%, Bihar at 16%, UP at 13%, West Bengal and Uttarakhand 12% each and J&K at 11%. These are a percentage of the total cases pending in subordinate courts in these states.