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The judge who became the country’s first woman Chief Justice said, delay in the appointment of judges ‘serious matter, serious for democracy’

Supreme Court judge Justice B.V. Nagaratna said on Saturday that the issue of delay in appointment of judges could have serious implications for democracy in general and the judiciary in particular.

Delivering the inaugural address at the 5th Conference of Central Government Lawyers for Southern States in Bengaluru, Justice Nagaratna said that adequate staffing of the judiciary at all levels by independent and fearless judges is essential to prevent any interference from any side. Let me say in my most humble manner that inaction or delay by the government or the executive in important matters relating to the judiciary like the appointment of judges can have serious ramifications for democracy in general and the judiciary in particular.

In fact, in my humble view, there is a constitutional obligation on the executive to effectively process the appointments and transfers of judges recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium at the earliest, so that there are no vacancies in the courts, which is detrimental to effective judicial functioning, he added. Can disrupt the work. If the empowerment of judiciary is to be seriously considered, then I think the vacancies should be filled.

His statement assumes significance against the backdrop of growing tussle between the Supreme Court collegium and the central government over the delay in the appointment and transfer of high court judges.

Earlier this week, the apex court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud took serious note of the delay in taking a decision on names reiterated by the Center for appointment as judges of high courts.

The SC Collegium had said that duplicate names should not be withheld or ignored as it disturbs their seniority while names recommended later overpower them. The loss of seniority of candidates recommended earlier has been noted by the Collegium and is a matter of grave concern.