CJI’s claim on need of 40,000 judges not based on scientific research: Gowda

New Delhi: The government today said the report cited by the Chief Justice of India to claim that the country needed 40,000 judges was not based on any scientific research but maintained it has hastened efforts to fill up vacancies in Supreme Court and the high courts.

The Union Minister for Law & Justice, Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda addressing a press conference to mark the completion of two years of the Government, in New Delhi on May 25, 2016. 	The Secretary, Legislative Department of the Ministry of Law and Justice, Dr. G. Narayana Raju and the Director General (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Shri A.P. Frank Noronha are also seen.

Addressing a press conference to mark two years of the Narendra Modi government, Gowda said the adequacy of bench strength in a country is determined on the basis of workload on the courts and not judge-population ratio.

Virtually breaking down in the presence of the Prime Minister here on April 24, CJI T S Thakur had lamented the government’s “inaction” in increasing the number of judges from the present 21,000 to 40,000 to handle the “avalanche” of litigations, saying, “you cannot shift the entire burden on the judiciary”.

“Nothing has moved” since 1987 when the Law Commission had recommended increase in the number of judges from then 10 judges per 10 lakh people to 50, an unusually emotional Thakur had said.

Responding to a question on whether the government will ever be able to reach the target of 40,000 judges (judges in the lower courts as well as judges of the Supreme Court and the 24 High Courts), Gowda said the Law Commission report given in 1987 was based on the opinion of some experts and the public.

“In the report itself they said that this has to be calculated on the basis of scientific data. But no scientific data was available.

“Even recently in the Imtiaz Ahmed case, the Supreme Court itself has asked the Law Commission to once again look into the matter. They once again said that this may not be possible unless we get the scientific data,” Gowda said.

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