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SC pulls centre, states over failure to appoint ad-hoc judges, calls governments approach ‘lethargic, shocking’

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Bench Tuesday pulled up the Union of India and the State governments’ failure to appoint ad-hoc judges and the large number of pending criminal appeals.

The SC Bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman and Indu Malhotra said:“There are criminal appeals pending for over 16 years, 20 years. Do you know how many people are languishing in jail because of this?”

Barandbench.com reported that

A previous Chief Justice of SC according to report had met with the Chief Justices of all States and a resolution was adopted to appoint ad-hoc judges to take care of arrears.

“We want to know what steps were taken by the Union of India”, Justice Nariman said while dictating the order.

Justice Nariman approach of the Centre and the states in dealing with pending criminal appeals as ‘lethargic’ and ‘nothing short of shocking’.

“This is absolutely shocking. I’m personally very shocked. There are so many ad-hoc judges in the pipeline…Judges who have retired at 62…Use them”, Justice Nariman told the ASG.

The Court has issued notice to all states and directed the Union to apprise the Court of the steps taken by the Central government regarding the appointment of ad-hoc judges to dispose of criminal appeals at the earliest, reads the bar and bench report.

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