New Delhi: In what could hinder timely delivery of justice in the state, the strength of the Orissa High Court judges would reduce to 13, half of the court’s sanctioned strength within next six months.
In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the High Court anticipated that it is likely to have 14 vacancies within six months. It has been further submitted to the court that the present sanctioned strength of judges in Orissa High Court stands at 27, which are to be filled from two sources – 18 from Bar and nine from Higher Judicial Service of the state.
“The present working strength of judges in the High Court is 15 including the Chief Justice. Out of 18 Bar quota and nine service quota, the present functional strength of judges from Bar segment is 10 and service segment is five. Accordingly, the present vacancy position form Bar segment is eight and service segment is four,” the HC stated in the affidavit.
“So far as the anticipated vacancy is concerned, two vacancies will arise within six months, both are from Bar segment,” it added.
Significantly, the Supreme Court, while hearing a petition seeking appointment of additional judges in High Courts, Wednesday, asked the Union ministry of Law and Justice to lay down a timeline and apprise the court of the time it will take to respond to the recommendations made by the High Courts for the appointment of judges.
During the hearing, the counsel appearing for Orissa HC, Sibo Sankar Mishra, submitted to the apex court that Chief Justice S Muralidhar has assumed the charge of the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court January 4. “So, it would be difficult to make recommendations for appointment of judges immediately,” he stated.
Kuldeep Singh, OP