Cabinet approves proposal to increase Supreme Court Judges Strength

Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to increase the strength of judges in Supreme Court from the present 31 to 34 (i.e. by 10%), including Chief Justice of India (CJI). Cabinet has approved a bill to amend the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956.

At present Supreme Court has sanctioned strength of judges is 31 (including CJI). If the bill gets clearance from the parliament, the strength would go up to 31, including Chief Justice of India.

Composition

• According to Article 124 (1) of Constitution of India, the strength of the Supreme Court is fixed as per the law.
• However, the number of judges can be increased by way of parliamentary legislation.
• In pursuance of this Parliament has enacted the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956, which originally provided for a maximum of 10 judges (excluding the CJI).
• This law was last time amended in 2009 to increase judges’ strength from 25 to 30 (excluding the CJI).

Background

The Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court. In this letter, Chief Justice of India had urged to expand judge-strength in the Supreme Court so that it can function more efficiently and effectively. The Chief of India Ranjan Gogoi also mentioned that because of lack of judges, the required number of Constitutional Benches of Supreme Court could not be formed.

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