More than 5,000 posts in the lower judiciary have been lying vacant across the country, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. Prasad said the central government has been giving emphasis on filling up vacant posts in the subordinate judiciary with fair representation from the SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities so that they could occupy posts in higher judiciary in due course. "More than 5,000 posts in subordinate judiciary are vacant now. But government cannot do anything. But we are giving emphasis that while filling up vacant posts, there should be fair representation from the SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities," he said during the Question Hour.
The law minister said the Narendra Modi government desires that judges from weaker sections first get experience in lower judiciary and eventually become capable of occupying positions in higher judiciary. Prasad said based on the reports submitted by the arrears committee of various high courts, it was resolved that all high courts will assign top most priority for disposal of cases which are pending for more than five years and priority should be given for disposal of cases pending in district courts for more than five years. Replying to a question about the transfer of a judge, who was hearing cases related to 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the law minister said the government cannot interfere on a decision taken by the Supreme Court collegium.
However, he said, he will try to ensure that all anti- Sikh riot cases are expedited so that victims get justice. "It is a matter of concern for the whole country that Sikhs should get justice. The Narendra Modi government government is committed to provide justice to the Sikh community and hence had formed a Special Investigation Team immediately after taking over charge," he said. Prasad also said the Modi government has scrapped 1,400 obsolete laws in the last four years and state governments were too impressed upon to scrap obsolete laws.