The Union Law & Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju told the Parliament today that at present, there is no proposal to reintroduce the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) with suitable modifications.

The Minister was answering questions posed in the Rajya Sabha by Members. "No Sir, at present there is no such proposal", the Minister has told in reply to the question, "whether Government proposes to reintroduce National Judicial Appointments Commission with suitable modifications".

The Minister also informed the Parliament that the appointment of the Judges of the Constitutional Courts is a continuous, integrated and collaborative process between the Executive and the Judiciary. He told the Parliament that it requires consultation and approval from various constitutional authorities both at state and central levels. Government appoints only those persons as Judges of High Courts who are recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium.

"As on 05.12.2022, there is 01 proposal for appointment of a Supreme Court Judge and 08 proposals for appointment of High Courts Judges recommended by the SCC (Supreme Court Collegium) are pending with the Government. Further, there are 11 proposals of transfer of High Court Judges, 01 proposal of transfer of a Chief Justice and 01 proposal of appointment of Chief Justice of a High Court recommended by the Supreme Court under consideration of the Government", the Minister informed in answer to a question about the number of collegium proposals pending with the government.

In answer to the question as to whether the Supreme Court has recently expressed its opinion over the delay in notifying the names, the Minister replied, "Supreme Court while hearing a court case has expressed its opinion over delay in notifying the names of judges recommended by the collegium".

The Minister has also informed that during the last five years, a total of 256 proposals have been remitted by the Government to the High Courts. The proposals are remitted to the concerned High Courts on the advice of the Supreme Court Collegium, as per the Minister.

He has informed the Rajya Sabha that as on December 5, 2022, 146 proposals recommended by the High Court Collegiums are at various stages of processing with the Government and the Supreme Court Collegium.

He told the Parliament that as on December 5, against the sanctioned strength of 34 Judges, 27 Judges are working in the Supreme Court leaving 07 vacancies. In the High Courts, against the sanctioned strength of 1108, 778 Judges are working leaving 330 vacancies.

The highest number of proposals is pending with respect to the Allahabad High Court i.e. 30, followed by Madras High Court and Rajasthan High Court at 18 and the Bombay High Court at 16, as per the information put out by the Minister.

With respect to the pendency of cases, the Minister has informed that as on December 2, 877669 civil and 374636 criminal cases are pending before High Courts and 691827 civil and 2726167 criminal cases are pending before District and Subordinate Courts.

As per the Minister, as on November 29, 69744 cases are pending before the Supreme Court. The Minister informed that the number of matters pending before the Supreme Court for more than 10 years is 11049.