Lok Sabha passes Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019
Lok Sabha has passed Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019 to increase the number of Supreme Court judges from the present 30 to 33 (excluding Chief Justice of India). The Bill amends Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Ac, 1956. It helps to meet long standing demand of increasing strength of Supreme Court judges to resolve number of pending cases can be brought down substantially.
Salient features of Bill
The Bill to increase strength of Supreme Court judges by 10% i.e. to 33 from present 30 (excluding Chief Justice of India).
As of now full sanctioned strength of SC is 31 (including CJI). Once this bill gets in Rajya Sabha also and gets full parliamentary nod and presidential assent, the number of judges would go up to 34, including the CJI.
The purpose of increasing in number of judges is to allow Supreme Court to function more efficiently and effictively towards attaining the ultimate goal of of rendering speedy jusstice to the litigants.
The strength of Supreme Court is fixed by law enacted Parliament as per Article 124 (1) of Constitution of India. Therefore, strength of Supreme Court judges can be increased by way of parliamentary legislation. For this purpose Parliament has enacted Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956, which originally provided for maximum of 10 judges (excluding CJI). This number was increased to 13 by Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 1960 and to 17 in 1977.
However till the end of 1979, the working strength of Supreme Court was restricted to 15 judges (excluding CJI) by cabinet. But the restriction was later withdrawn at request of CJI. In 1986, strength of Supreme Court was increased to 25, excluding CJI. Subsequently, Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 2009 further increased strength of Supreme Court judges from 25 to 30 (excluding CJI).
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