Chief Justice of India approves increase in number of judges to 42 from 24 in Telangana High Court

Published : June 11, 2021 18:31 IST

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana. Photo: PTI

The Telangana High Court, currently functioning with 14 judges, including Chief Justice Hima Kohli, despite a sanctioned strength of 24, is all set to witness an increase in its sanctioned judicial strength to 42, an unprecedented 75 per cent increase.

The issue of raising the bench strength by appointing new judges has been pending with the Union government for over two years. After Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana assumed office in April, he wrote to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that the High Court’s request for an increase in bench strength from 24 to 42 was reasonable and fully endorsed by the Telangana Chief Minister. He pointed out that even after all vacancies were filled, the existing bench strength of the High Court would not be adequate to tackle the alarming pendency of cases. The CJI also said in the letter that there was adequate infrastructure in place to accommodate 42 judges in the High Court of Telangana. The Law Ministry concurred with the CJI’s views and conveyed its decision to the CJI on June 7.

The composition of the 42-judge Telangana High Court will be as follows: 32 permanent and 10 additional judges, with as many as 28 judges being selected from the Bar quota (from among lawyers), and the remaining 14 judicial officers being promoted from the Telangana State judicial services.

With cases burgeoning in Telangana, a proposal, duly endorsed by the Chief Minister and the Governor, to raise the sanctioned bench strength, was sent to the Union Law Ministry in February 2019. However, the Union government chose to keep it pending. In November 2019, the Union government reviewed the proposal again and conveyed to the then Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court that rather than going in for an increase in the judicial strength, it would be better to first fill up the vacancies. The matter rested there until the new CJI took the initiative to address it.

On receiving the Law Ministry’s concurrence to his proposal, the CJI gave the final approval to increase the judicial bench strength.

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