Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 24 June 2019

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam

UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-III: General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Q. “Recently the Chief Justice of India asked government to increase the sanctioned strength of Judges in the Supreme Court and also make tenure appointment of retired judges.” Mentioning the related constitutional provisions comment whether this move will reduce backlog of cases. (250 words)

Model Answer:


The CJI recently wrote three letters to the PM, said there was a pendency of about 58,000 cases in the SC itself and the number was increasing due to filing of more fresh cases. Due to paucity of judges, the required number of Constitution benches to decide important cases involving questions of law was not being formed, the CJI said. In all more than 3 Crore cases are pending in various courts with over 40 lakhs in various High Courts.

CJI has recommended increasing the retirement age of High Court Judges to 65, he also recommended increasing sanctioned strength of the SC judges and tenure appointment of judges.  

Main Part of the answer:

Constitutional Provisions

Constitutional provisions regarding number of judges and appointment of judges are provided in Article 124.

Original sanctioned strength was 7 which has been periodically increased and now it stands at 30 excluding CJI.The sanctioned strength of judges can be increased by ordinary bill.

While the constitution gives primacy to the executive in matters of appointment of Judges but instead of the constitutional scheme the collegium system of appointment is followed wherein the collegium recommends the name of judges to be appointed for the SC and variousHigh Courts. There is memorandum of procedure which is followed in matters of appointment according to which the executive can’t refuse the recommendations unless there are some valid grounds or adverse report about the judges and also it can send names for reconsideration only once.

Article 127 provides for appointment of ad hoc judges but it is not relevant here as the provision is only for situations where there is lack of quorum.

Article 128 and 224Aprovides for tenure appointment of retired judges, it is advantageous because such appointed judges are not counted in the sanctioned strength of judges and they are not deemed to be judge of the court. They only work as judge for particularly assigned cases. This may improve situations at various High Courts and the SC.  


Will above reforms reduce the backlog of cases:

India certainly needs a fast and efficient judiciary but it has been observed that despite increased appointment of judges and increased rate of disposal of cases the backlog has increased due to filing of huge number of new cases. Many innocent under trials accused are locked up in jails on petty charges suggest failure of lower judiciary in effectively handling cases. A large number of civil disputes are never solved by the civil courts which increases chance of violent crimes.

Reducing backlog of cases require larger judicial as well as police reformsto speed investigation and related procedures. Also there is need for judicial accountability before further strengthening the judiciary. So far no judge has been removed through parliament is symptomatic of how powerful and unaccountable is the judiciary is; so is the need for judicial accountability.

Reducing backlog of cases also requires strong alternative dispute redressal(ADR) mechanisms and institutions like Lok Adalats, Consumer Forum, and other tribunals.

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