Augment Judges strength

While on the one hand, concern is shown over huge and long pendency of cases in different courts and various administrative measures from within the courts are devised to address this critical issue, at the same time there appears to be little or no concern in at least maintaining the existing level of the judges’strength, if not augmenting the same. Whether it is on account of superannuation or transfer of judges, without replenishing the same there were remote possibilities of bringing about any reduction in disposing off court cases in a reasonable time. The ultimate sufferer is the poor litigant.
Having said so, the working strength of the Jammu and Kashmir State High Court has once again been reduced to around 50 percent due to retirement of two judges and transfer of another , later as per the recommendations of the collegium of the Supreme Court. How can , as a natural corollary the expected chances being grim of any reduction in the pendency of court cases be not feared. From the strength of nine as on August 7 this year , with appointment of two more judges , it increased to eleven generating hopes about the huge pendency of cases getting taken on substantially with intent to bring about some reduction therein which would have been equitably possible in both the wings. In the year 2014, this strength from 14 was increased to 17 including the Chief Justice with a view to record an appreciable reduction in the pending court cases but the situation changed again.
Very recently, Supreme Court’s Collegium passed a resolution recommending transfer of Justice AlokAradheof State High Court to Karnataka High Court, the order about which is formally in the process to be issued by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice. In other words, the State High Court shall be left with strength of only eight judges including the Chief Justice. It is without any doubt that unless steps were taken to arrange replenishing the present strength of the judges in the State High Court either by appointments or transfers made from other High Courts of the country, bringing about some reduction in pendency of cases would remain a distant possibility.
A grim reminder of the situation about the number of cases both civil and criminal, pending and awaiting their disposal in both the wings of Jammu and Kashmir must concern everybody. A total of such cases being over 90550 with many of them pending for even more than a decade really calls for serious efforts in respect of augmenting the judges’ strength to ensure that litigants got justice.