No ad hoc judges in place of regular recommendations’| By Rahul Saxena @Lexcliq

The Supreme Court agreed that a plan to appoint retired judges on an ad hoc basis to reduce pendency in the High Courts should not become an excuse to stop or further delay the appointment
process of regular judges.


A Special Bench of the Supreme Court led by CJI SA Bobde is hearing a plea filed by NGO Lok
Prahari seeking the appointment of Ad Hoc Judges to High Courts. Central Government told the Supreme
Court that the appointment of additional judges on ad-hoc basis in High Courts under Article 224A of the
Constitution can be done only after the filling up of regular vacancies of Judges. The Bench however,
expressed concerns on the correctness of the proposition or stand taken by the centre. The bench asked
the Senior Advocates representing different High Courts to convene a meeting and discuss the
circumstances under which ad-hoc judges can be appointed under Article 224A. The matter will be taken
up again by Supreme Court later.


If at any time there is not enough quorum of judges in the Supreme Court to conduct hearing, the Chief Justice of India with previous consent of President and after consultation with the Chief Justice of High Court concerned, request as Judge of High Court (Qualified for appointment to Supreme Court) to attend Supreme Court, as a Judge of Supreme Court to be designated by Chief Justice of India. Period of service of an Adhoc Judge is determined by CJI. Adhoc judges have powers, jurisdiction and privileges similar to a judge of Supreme Court.


Retired Judges of Supreme Court and retired judges of High Court (Qualified to be appointed as a Judge
of SC) can be asked by Chief Justice of India (With previous consent of President) to attend as a Judge of
Supreme Court. He has all powers of SC judge. However, he is not considered a Judge of Supreme Court.


Additional and Acting Judges in High Court (Art 224)
To address temporary increase in business of High Court or to address pendency of cases, President can
allow for the number of judges to be increased in a High Court by appointing additional judges to High
Court. The term of office of a additional judge is two years.


If any judge (other than Chief Justice of High Court) is not able to attend the court, the President may appoint a duly qualified person to act as a Judge till the original judge resumes service. No person can be appointed as an Acting or Additional Judge after 62 years of age.
Chief Justice of a High Court, with previous consent of President , can ask any person who had been a
judge of any High Court, to act as a Judge of the High Court.
Every person so appointed has all powers and privileges of a High Court judge. However, he is not
considered to be a Judge of the High Court.

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