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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Despite the Centre’s push for filling up vacancies in positions of judges in high courts across the country, the government is yet to decide on 12 names reiterated by the Supreme Court Collegium. The names were sent between March and September.

This delay is in violation of the norms set by the top court in a judgment in April, which had fixed an upper limit of three to four weeks for appointments to high courts when names are reiterated by the Collegium.

According to sources, the names for appointments as judges to four high courts are stuck for a long time and on different occasions, the government had returned these names to the Supreme Court Collegium with a request to reconsider its recommendations to elevate these persons as judges of high courts.While five names are for the Calcutta High Court, three are for Jammu and Kashmir HC. For the Karnataka and Allahabad HCs, there are two names each.

As per procedure, high court Collegiums send names of candidates they deem fit to be appointed as high court judges, to the law ministry. The ministry, in turn, attaches IB reports of the candidates and other details, before forwarding them to the Supreme Court Collegium.

The apex court Collegium then processes these names and recommends some to the government for elevation as high court judges. As on October 1, there were 471 vacancies against the combined sanctioned strength of 1,098 judges across 25 high courts, according to the law ministry data. September has seen the collegium meet frequently, to recommend appointments and transfers.

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