Over 120 recommendations by 13 high courts for appointment of judges are pending with the government and the Supreme Court collegium, awaiting a final decision at a time when 403 posts out of a total sanctioned strength of 1,079 are vacant in various high courts. On the flip side, the figures also indicate that the high courts are yet to recommend suitable names for 280 vacancies.
Highly-placed sources in the government said that as on February 1, as many as 123 recommendations made by collegiums of 13 high courts were pending with the government as well as the Supreme Court collegium.
While 43 names are pending with the Supreme Court collegium, 80 names are with the government.
The sources pointed out that the figures also indicate that the high court collegiums have not recommended names to fill up the remaining 280 vacancies.
As per the latest law ministry data, as on February 1, the Allahabad high court has a maximum of 56 vacancies, followed by 39 in Calcutta, 38 in Karnataka, 35 in Punjab and Haryana High Court and 30 in Andhra Pradesh/Telangana High Court.
The high court collegiums first send the names to the law ministry, which after getting inputs from the intelligence bureau sends the files to the SC collegium.
According to the procedure for the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court, and the 24 high courts, the apex court collegium recommends the names of candidates to the government which, in turn, either accepts the proposal or returns it for reconsideration.