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Modi Govt okays collegium recommendation to extend tenure of 21 addl judges

New Delhi(PTI): The government is learnt to have cleared the recommendation of the collegium, which returned after a gap of six months following a Supreme Court verdict, to grant extension to 21 additional judges of various high courts whose two-year term is ending this month. This is the first set of recommendations the collegium made after staging a comeback last week. The Law Ministry had on Sunday sent files of 21 additional judges to the collegium whose terms are coming to an end by October 30 for its immediate consideration.

Supreme Court

To overcome shortage of judges, government had sought permission of the apex court to give extension to additional judges in various high courts .

Accepting the recommendation of the collegium, the extension or ‘reappointment’ has been cleared by the government. Since the President is in Suri, West Bengal, the files will be sent to him there tomorrow, sources in the government said here. Once the warrants of their appointments are signed, government could call the registrars of the high courts concerned to Kolkata to collect the documents to save on time, the sources said. The government had yesterday approved a recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium, made before the NJAC Act came into force on April 13, to re-appoint an additional judge in the Bombay High Court. The additional judges, whose two-year terms are coming to an end, are from the high courts of Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Calcutta and Karnataka.

To overcome shortage of judges, government had sought permission of the apex court to give extension to additional judges in various high courts whose tenure of two years was coming to an end as an interim measure. Now with the collegium system back after the apex court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act and an accompanying Constitutional Amendment Act, the files relating to reappointment pending with the government were sent back to the collegium for it to take a call.

There was no system in place between April 13 and October 16 on appointments to the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts. The NJAC Act was notified on April 13, but it was declared as unconstitutional by the apex court on October 16.

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