SC reserves the right to order ad hoc judges in HC upon request

The Apex Court has reserved orders on a plea seeking the appointment of ad hoc judges in high courts with reference to Article 224A of the Indian Constitution.

The bank, headed by the Indian Chief Justice, heard a plea filed by a non-governmental organization, Lok Prahari, seeking an appeal on Article 224A to deal with the pending cases in the High Courts.

The bank stated that the present case would not be fully resolved and that interim orders in the form of an ongoing mandamus would be issued.

The bank noted that Article 224A appears as a salutary provision. It was also noted that if ad hoc judges were appointed to clarify arrears, the courts could spend more time deciding the constitutional issues pending before them.

The bank also made a suggestion that the ad hoc judges could take care of the old cases that have been pending for over 10 to 15 years and the regular judges could hear the current affairs at the time of filing.

At the previous hearing on the matter, the Apex Court asked the senior lawyers representing various high courts to come up with joint proposals for the appointment of ad hoc judges.

One of the senior attorneys representing Orissa HC said that a written note had been presented to the court containing suggestions on the appointment process, allowances, tenure, etc., of the ad hoc judges.

The President of the SCBA also made a suggestion stating that the ad hoc judges may take over arbitration, but the bank did not take this into account.

The bank also stated that ad hoc judges’ allowances would be drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India.

In addition, the bank believed that the individual’s fitness would be a relevant factor in deciding whether or not to appoint judges.

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