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Lok Sabha passes bill to increase number of judges in Supreme Court

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

ANI New Delhi, India Aug 06, 2019, 06.30 AM (IST)

The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to amend the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956 to increase the number of Judges in the Supreme Court from present 30 to 33 excluding the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019 was passed after a reply by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

As on June 1, there were 58,669 cases pending in the apex court.

Prasad said it was not possible for the Chief Justice of India to constitute five Judges Bench on a regular basis to hear cases involving substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution as it would result in constitution of less number of division benches which would lead to delay in hearing of other civil and criminal matters.

The feeder cadre of Chief Justices and Judges of the High Courts has increased from 906 to 1,079 and presently new High Courts have also been established in the previous years, he said.

"This has led to an increase in the disposal of cases at the High Court level leading to a larger number of appeals to the Supreme Court. It is, therefore, proposed to amend the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956 to increase the number of Judges in the Supreme Court from present thirty to thirty-three excluding the Chief Justice of India", he said.

The Chief Justice of India had intimated the government that inadequate strength of judges is one of the prime reasons for the backlog of cases in the apex court.