The high courts of Allahabad, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Calcutta and Madhya Pradesh have recommended names of 18 former judges to the Centre who could be appointed to four high courts, reported PTI. Government officials said the names are still under consideration.

This comes days after the executive and the judiciary agreed to invoke an extraordinary provision of the Constitution to fight rising pendency. The provision of Article 224A states that the chief justice of a high court, with the consent of the president, can request a retired judge with proven integrity and track record to act as a judge of the high court for that state.

Recently, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had criticised the Centre for not clearing appointments to high courts. Thakur had said there were 500 vacant posts in high courts around the country. According to data available with the Supreme Court, of the sanctioned strength of 1,041 judges in high courts across India, 442 posts (42%) were vacant on March 31.

The collegium system of appointing judges is one by which the judiciary appoints the judges of the Supreme Court and high courts of India. It came into force in 1993, but was ousted by the Parliament in April 2015. The Centre then passed the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act in October 2015, which allows members of the executive to be a part of the selection process. However, the Supreme Court later struck this down as unconstitutional, and reinstated the collegium.