The Lower house of the nation passed a bill amending Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act 1956 for reducing the burden on Judiciary’s apex court. The Bill seeks to increase the size of the total judge’s strength from existing 31 to 34 (including Chief Justice of India).
The decision to increase the judge’s strength becomes a matter of utmost importance when the data shows that there are over 58,669 cases pending in Supreme court.
Earlier in 2016, Former Chief Justice of India TS Thakur expressed his concern in front of PM Modi pleading the case of the over-worked judiciary. He spoke that the court is under a lot of pressure due to over-working and lesser number of judges. The matter then became a highlight of national importance.
The decision to increase the strength of Judges was taken due to the fact that the constitutional bench demands the sitting of at least 5 judges. Owing to this very reason, the court was not able to reduce the pendency of cases as it was finding it hard to constitute enough benches on a regular basis to deal with the ever-increasing cases. Thus, it resulted in an inefficient justice delivery mechanism causing delay of justice.
Union Minister of Law, Ravi Shankar Prasad told that the cadre of High court Judges has been increased from 906 to 1079 in the preceding years. The low strength of judges is said to be one of the driving reasons for a huge backlog of cases in the judiciary.
“This has led to an increase in the disposal of cases at the High Court level leading
to a larger number of appeals to the Supreme Court. It is, therefore, proposed to amend the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956 to increase the number of Judges in the Supreme Court from the present thirty to thirty-three excluding the Chief Justice of India”, Law Minister told to ANI.