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SC raps Centre over Madras HC
November 18, 2005 18:59 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Centre for its failure to appoint judges to the Madras high court despite names being cleared by its collegium two-and-half months ago.
Directing the law ministry to place before it the factual position within a week, a bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justice C K Thakker said 'we must know about the factual position on why there has been delay after our recommendation'.
The bench was perturbed that the Madras high court was working with half the sanctioned strength of 49 judges, though a collegium, consisting of five senior judges of the apex court, had cleared 17 names for the posts.
"The high court is functioning with less than 50 per cent of the sanctioned strength," the bench observed and sought an explanation from Attorney General Milon K Banerjee.
"It is unfortunate," the AG replied, but was quick to add that 'though there have been some delay, some names have been cleared and will be announced in a day or two'.
However, the submission by AG did not impress the court.
Maintaining that the appointment of judges should not have taken time after the names were recommended by the apex court, the Bench said 'the number of cases pending there should also be taken into consideration'.
"At the moment we want to see where the delay is. Why is it pending with the government?" the bench said.