New Delhi/Nagpur: After he broke down during a meeting on Sunday while talking about the work pressure on judges, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had a sharp response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment on court vacations.
Justice Thakur said: “We don’t go to Manali. Judges of constitutional benches write their order…When one side is ready, the other is not. Ask the Bar if they are ready.”
Earlier, the Chief Justice became emotional when, addressing the meeting of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices in the presence of PM Modi, he appealed to the government to raise the number of judges.
“It is for development of this country, that I beseech you to rise the occasion… You cannot shift the entire burden to the judiciary… There is a limit to judges’ capacity,” he said.
“How much time does it require when there is an avalanche of cases?” he questioned, telling the gathering that an average Indian judge handles 2,600 cases in a year compared to just 81 in the US.
The Prime Minister, who was not expected to speak at that point, assured the judiciary that his government was serious about addressing the issues. “If a closed door and close team norms allow, I will definitely try to find a way out,” he said.
To Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda’s comment that verification of candidates by the Intelligence Bureau takes time, the Chief Justice said there should be a fixed time-frame for such a report and a way of tracking the recommendations. “We should have a system to know where the recommendation is. We don’t know whether a secretary is sitting on it or it is with the PMO or Law Ministry,” he said.