Govt asks for identification of SC/ST candidates for HC judges
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, March 12: The Government has asked Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts to identify persons belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women for appointment as High Court judges.
Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that the Government's request was not withstanding the provisions of Articles 124 and 127 of the Constitution, which do not provide for reservation for any caste or class of persons.
To a question, Jaitley said the term of the National Commission, set up to review the working of the Constitution, has been extended to October 31, 2001. He said there was no post of Principal Secretary in the Commission.
He said on the basis of recommendations of the Eleventh Finance Commission, the Government has sanctioned a scheme for creation of 12 additional courts, known as fast track courts, in Jammu and Kashmir for speedy disposal of long pending sessions cases and other criminal and civil cases.
Jaitley said the J-K High Court had a backlog of 64,036 cases as on June 30 last year, out of which 1,267 cases had been pending for more than ten years.
The Minister said there were 1,21,915 cases pending in subordinate courts in the state as on December 31, 1998. He said there was no proposal at present to increase the strength of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
He said no time-frame can be set for taking a decision or action on recommendations of the Indrajit Gupta Committee on state funding of polls, as electoral law reforms can be carried out only through consensus among political parties.