CJI has personally spoken to all Chief Justices before writing to them.
A week after Supreme Court Collegium headed by him cleared last of the pending recommendations from various high court collegiums for appointment of judges, Chief Justice of India JS Khehar has written to Chief Justices of all High Courts asking them to recommend new names at the earliest.
Atleast three High Court Chief Justices confirmed having received letter from CJI Khehar, saying it requests them to call a meeting of their collegiums and recommend suitable names.
CJI’s letter comes even as Government is yet to take a call on Memorandum of Procedure which was sent to it by Supreme Court Collegium in the early March.
Out of total sanctioned strength of 1,079, as many as the 447 posts of judges are vacant in the various High Courts. While government has initiated process of appointment of 90 names cleared by Supreme Court Collegium, over 33 per cent of vacancies will still exist.
Almost 50 per cent posts of the judges are vacant at Allahabad High Court, country’s biggest, with sanctioned strength of 160.
High Court with second highest vacancies is Calcutta High Court, where 37 of total 72 posts are vacant.
High Court of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh, with a sanctioned strength of 61, has 34 posts vacant while Punjab and Haryana High Court has 39 of the total 85 posts vacant.
However, it is unclear if CJI Khehar, who retires on August 27, will also ask Supreme Court Collegium to recommend names for three existing vacancies in Apex Court.
Other Apex Court judges who will retire by the end of this year are Justice PC Ghose (May 27,2017) and Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant (August 29,2017).