Chief Justice of India TS Thakur broke down before Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a meeting of chief ministers, chief Justices of High Courts and the Supreme Court judges in Delhi on Sunday.
He said the country’s judiciary was dealing with an “avalanches of cases” and suffered from a poor judge-population ratio and perennial vacancies.
“It is not enough to criticise. You can’t shift the entire burden on judges,” he said while pointing out that nine judges of the American Supreme Court together decide 81 cases in a year whereas a judge in the Indian Supreme Court decides 2,600 cases a year.
“There is a limit on the capacity of judges’ performance,” said the teary-eyed SC judge.
“The only remedy is to establish more courts and increase the strength of the judges to 50 judges per million population,” he added.
He said that despite the poor judge-population ratio and vacancies, the recommendations by the apex court collegium for the appointment of judges were pending with the government which was taking its own time to act on them.
Pointing that “nothing really appears to be moving”, CJI Thakur said all that was happening was the shifting of buck between the central and state governments on addressing issues related to the judiciary.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered to set up a committee of government officers and people from the judiciary to address the issues flagged by the head of the country’s judiciary.
“I will make efforts to address the serious concerns raised by the chief justice,” Modi told the conference.
(With IANS Inputs)