The Supreme Court today said it will wait for six months to see the progress made by the government on the issue of fulfilling vacancies in the higher judiciary before entertaining any petition raising this issue.
However, a bench headed by chief justice P Sathasivam, appreciated the effort of an NGO, Society For Justice, for raising the issue in the interest of citizens for whom timely justice is the essence of justice and shortage of judges was coming in its way.
"If the progress is not made, you can come after six months and we will review it," the bench, also comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and R K Agarwal said but declined to consider the plea for declaring a time-limit of two years and one year for disposal of cases from lower courts and high courts respectively.
The bench asked the Punjab-based NGO's President Amar Singh to take back the petition saying that the government itself has been contemplating to increase the strength of judges in High Courts.
"We appreciate your effort. You are fighting for citizens. Government itself is contemplating and have taken decision to increase the strength of judges in High Courts. We are taking all efforts.
"The Law Ministry has sent communication to High Courts on the issue of increasing the strength of judges," the bench said asking the NGO to wait for another six months.
The Supreme Court today achieved the approved strength of 31 judges including Chief Justice of India with the swearing-in of Justices R K Agarwal and N V Ramana.
However, high courts across the country are short of 254 judges as the total strength is 906, according to the latest data of Ministry of Law and Justice.