SC irked with Centre, states’ lethargic approach on pending criminal appeals

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New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday was irked with Centre and state governments for their “lethargic approach” in dealing with large number of pending criminal appeals and failure to appoint ad-hoc judges.

A bench of Justice Rohinton Nariman and Justice Indu Malhotra expressed displeasure, saying criminal appeals have been pending in courts for over 16 to 20 years and people are languishing in jail.

The bench said then Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur along with the then Chief Justices of various High Courts had adopted a resolution to appoint ad-hoc judges to take care of arrears, and asked the Centre and states about the steps taken in this regard.

The bench said it was “shocked” over the appalling number of criminal appeals pending before courts and the governments’ lethargic approach not to appoint ad-hoc judges.

In a significant step to tackle the mounting number of cases, then Chief Justice Thakur in April 2016 conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of high courts had adopted a resolution to invoke a constitutional provision to appoint retired judicial officers as ad-hoc judges.

It was decided that these ad-hoc judges will tackle criminal cases where appeals have not been heard for the past five years.



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