Supreme Court paves way for ad-hoc judges in High Courts

Terming pendency of around 57 lakh cases in High Courts as “docket explosion”, the Supreme Court activated a “dormant” constitutional provision to pave way for appointment of retired High Court judges as ad-hoc ones for a period of two to three years to clear backlog and came out with guidelines to regulate appointments.

Article 224A, used rarely, of the Constitution deals with appointment of ad-hoc judges in High Courts and says “the Chief Justice of a High Court for any State may at any time, with the previous consent of the President, request any person who has held the office of a Judge of that Court or of any other High Court to sit and act as a Judge of the High Court for that State”.

A bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices S.K. Kaul and Surya Kant issued a slew of guidelines pertaining to issues such as tenure, salary, perks, etc, and their role in adjudicating cases.

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