Tuesday, September 28, 2021

High Court looking at appointment of ad-hoc judges to clear backlog

The Madras High Court is considering appointment of retired judges of the court docket as ad-hoc judges to scale back the backlog of 5.84 lakh circumstances that had bought collected through the years.

According to sources, the proposal to appoint ad-hoc judges is beneath energetic consideration of the court docket and that Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee will take a name on appropriate candidates.


As of now, the working energy of the Madras High Court is 59 as in opposition to its sanctioned energy of 75 judges. There are 16 vacancies and three extra judges are retiring by September 27. Further, seven extra judges of the court docket are due to retire in 2022.

The High Court has a mounting backlog of 5.22 lakh civil circumstances and over 61,000 legal circumstances. Of the pending circumstances, 1.09 lakh (18.75%) are between 10 and 20 years outdated.

Similarly, 1.12 lakh (19.29%) pending circumstances are between three to 5 years outdated. Although the High Court had 1.24 lakh (21.22%) circumstances which might be lower than one yr outdated, court docket officers say it might be as a result of of restricted functioning due to COVID-19.


The current transfer to appoint ad-hoc judges comes following a Supreme Court verdict delivered on April 20 this yr impressing upon the necessity for the High Courts to “activate” Article 224A, a “dormant provision” of the Constitution.

The constitutional provision empowers the Chief Justice of a High Court to request a retired choose to sit and act as a choose on being paid such allowances because the President could decide. The apex court docket had batted in favour of utilising the expertise of retired judges to clear the backlog since appointment of everlasting and extra judges to sanctioned vacancies takes a very long time due to delay at numerous phases of the method.

It had made it clear that ad-hoc judges might be appointed over and above the sanctioned energy of judges and that they need to be given solely judicial work, and never administrative work, although their pay and allowances needs to be at par with everlasting judges.

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