Asserting that he has reached the peak of his career and was not afraid to speak his mind, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on Monday expressed his disappointment at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address, saying he was hoping that there would be a mention on appointment of judges in his speech.
The CJI, who hoisted the tri-colour at the Supreme Court lawn, called on the Prime Minister to take action for the sake of justice for the people, who had great expectation from the nation’s legal system.
Pointing to the delays that have crept into the justice delivery system on account of huge pendency, Chief Justice Thakur said that during British Raj a case used to be decided in 10 years time but now even that was not happening due to the huge backlog.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech from the Red Fort, he said he was wondering if he would say something about the country’s judicial system.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was present at the function, said the appointments were being processed. “Our commitment to the judiciary is complete. We are in the process of finalising procedure. We are in discussion,” he said.
Justice Thakur’s comments come just days after the Supreme Court accused the government of “sitting over” judges’ appointments and said scathingly: “Don’t force us to pass orders to remove this logjam.”
A three-judge bench led by the Chief Justice told the government on Friday that since February, 75 names had been recommended for the high court and none had been approved.
The appointment and transfer of judges is decided by a collegium or a panel of the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, including the chief justice. The names recommended by the collegium are forwarded to the government for approval and finally signed off by the President.