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SUPREME COURT (NUMBER OF JUDGES) AMENDMENT BILL 2019
The Author is Astha who is pursuing BA LLB (Hons.) from Amity Law School, Noida.
The apex court of our country act as a backbone and
pillar to the Indian Judiciary. The Supreme Court of India is the highest
authority for solving disputes and nobody has the power to go against the
orders passed by the court. Under the Indian Constitution there has been laid
down proper procedures for appointment of judges.
Article 124(2) under Indian
Constitution says that every Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by
the President by warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with such
of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as the
President may deem necessary for the purpose and shall hold office until he
attains the age of sixty-five years:
Provided further that –
(a) A Judge may, by writing under his hand
addressed to the President, resign his office;
(b) A judge may be
removed from his office in the manner provided in clause (4).
has been a series of amendments in the number of the Supreme Court judges. In
India it is believed that if the numbers of judges are increased then the
justice will be speedy and number of pending cases will be decreased, which has
not been observed till date. The situation of Indian Judiciary has been stable
since the time it has came into existence and the conditions of pending cases
and slower justice hasn’t improved. The pioneer of Judicial Activism Justice P N Bhagwati had once said that
there is a major misconception in people’s mind that cases backlog and delay
arise from having too few judges.
the original Constitution of India, 1950 had 7 senior judges and a Chief
Justice in the Supreme Court.Inthe early years, all the Judges of the Supreme
Court sat together to hear the cases presented before them. As the work of the
Court increased and arrears of cases began to cumulate, the Parliament increased
the number of Judges from 8 in 1950 to 11 in 1956, 14 in 1960, 18 in 1978 and
26 in 1986. As the number of the Judges has increased, they sit in smaller benches
of two and three - coming together in larger Benches of 5 and more only when
required to do so or to settle a difference of opinion or controversy.
so many changes and increase in the number of judges, judicial backlog has only
kept on increasing which means more cases have been admitted than resolved. In
March 2007, the strength of the court was increased from 25 to 30, close to
42,000 cases were pending before it. Things have not changed and the caseloads
have been kept on increasing and burdening the court.
1st 2019 over 60,000 cases were pending before the Supreme Court
which led to proposal of a new bill in the parliament about the increase of
judges in Supreme Court. This bill increased the strength of judges from 30 to
33 excluding Chief Justice.
On 5th August 2019 ‘Supreme Court (Number of Judges)
Amendment Bill 2019’ was proposed in Lok Sabha and was passed with
majority. Later on 12th August 2019 the bill passed in Rajya Sabha
as well. President Ram Nath Kovind signed the bill and gave his assent and now this bill has converted into the Act.