There are 175 proposals under process to fill up positions High Court judges against a vacancy of 405, the Centre told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

“Further recommendations from High Court collegiums are yet to be received in respect of 230 vacancies in High Courts,” Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju said.

He made the statement in response to a question by Telugu Desam Party MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar, who had sought to know about the vacancies in High Courts across the country and the reasons behind it.

In a written statement, Rijiju said that out of the total sanctioned strength of 1,104 judges in High Courts, 699 positions were filled, while 405 of them were vacant. The minister said that filing up vacancies is a collaborative process between the executive and the judiciary and requires consultations at both the central and the state level.

“While every effort is made to fill up the existing vacancies expeditiously, vacancies of judges in High Courts do keep on arising on account of retirement, resignation or elevation of judges and also due to increase in the strength of judges,” he said.

Rijiju said that the chief justice of a High Court is required to send proposals for filling up the vacancies six months before the positions are relinquished. He said that the government appoints only those persons as High Court judges who are recommended by the Supreme Court collegium.

Data provided by the minister showed that that highest number of vacancies were in the Allahabad High Court, where 67 out of the 160 posts need to filled. Meanwhile, Sikkim and Tripura High Courts had no vacancies.

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