Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court that has the second highest vacancy of judges in the country had a sigh of relief after the Union Ministry of Law and Justice notified the appointment of five Additional Judges. Before this, the Allahabad High Court topped the list with 66 vacancies while Calcutta had a vacancy of 41 judges.
In a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice, President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Kesang Doma Bhutia, Rabindranath Samanta, Sugato Majumdar, Bivas Pattanayak and Ananda Kumar Mukherjee as Additional Judges of the Calcutta High Court, in order of seniority.
The appointment of Sugato Majumdar and Bivas Pattanayak as Additional Judges of Calcutta High Court would be for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their respective offices, the notification said.
“However, the period of appointment of Kesang Doma Bhutia, Rabindranath Samanta and Ananda Kumar Mukherjee as Additional Judges of Calcutta High Court would be till May 4, 2022, June 23, 2023 and August 4, 2022 respectively, with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices,” the notification added.
The Calcutta High Court has been suffering from the shortage of judges for a long time. Recently in a statement issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice, it had been said that there are altogether 453 vacancies across the country. The High Court has a sanctioned strength of 71 positions but only 31 judges are working. On the other hand, the Allahabad High Court has a sanctioned strength of 160 judges where 94 judges are functional allowing a deficit of 66 judges.
Among the vacancies in Calcutta high court, 25 are for permanent judges and 16 for additional judges. Interestingly enough Calcutta High Court has a vacancy of 57.4 per cent while Allahabad High Court has a vacancy of 48.2 per cent. Even Bombay high court, which has a sanctioned strength of 94 judges, has a vacancy list of 31 judges, Delhi High Court has a vacancy of 30 judges, Punjab and Haryana 39 judges and Patna High Court has a vacancy of 33 judges. Not only that, there is no permanent Chief Justice in Calcutta High Court from April this year.
“The situation of Calcutta High Court is the worst. Though there are many more vacancies yet to be filled up, the present appointment will give some relief. There is a huge shortage of judges and naturally important cases are lying pending for months. There is no permanent chief justice. Calcutta High Court is one of the most important courts in the country and this kind of a situation cannot prevail for long,” a senior advocate said.