The Bombay Lawyers Association has approached the Bombay High Court to address the institution's high vacancy of judges and to establish a permanent system for quickly filling such vacancies.
Despite having a sanctioned strength of 94 judges, the Bombay High Court currently has only 57 judges. This year, eleven judges from the Bombay High Court are retiring.
The petitioner association states that it’s been a while since court's sanctioned strength of judges was filled.
“Due to the shortage of Judges, it is experienced that there is a huge pendency of matters for years together. There are so many matters not even listed for hearing Due to shortage of Judges, no urgent listing is granted. The official data from the website of this hon'ble this Court shows the case clearance rate in the year 2021 in 67 52% which means there are pendency of 32.48 per cent cases in the year 2021, the petition states that”.
Furthermore , it adds that
The petitioner is filing the present Public Interest Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking diction for permanent mechanism to fill up the vacancies of Judges as soon it arises. The petitioner is also seeking directions to fill up the vacant posts of Judges at Bombay Hon'ble High Court as per sanctioned strength.
The Registrar Generals of the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court, the Ministry of Law and Justice, and the Department of Law and Judiciary are respondents to the petition (Maharashtra).
According to the petitioner, it is a body of advocates who practise in the Bombay High Court with the primary goal to undertake activities to facilitate the improvement of legal services quality.
According to the petitioners, while the High Court of Bombay has a sanctioned strength of 94 judges, 71 of them are meant to be permanent and 23 are additional judges.
The Bombay High Court is one of India's three High Courts, which was established by Queen Victoria's Letters Patent on June 26, 1862, in the Presidency Towns. Under the Indian High Courts Act, 1861, it was inaugurated on August 14, 1862.
The Bombay High Court has its principle seat in Mumbai and has other benches in Nagpur, Aurangabad, and Goa, as well as the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
Under Article 217 of the Constitution, the President of India appoints judges on the advice and recommendation of the collegium of the High Court and Supreme Court of India. The number of judges in a court is determined by dividing the average number of cases filed in the last five years by the national average, or by dividing the average rate of main case disposition per judge each year in that High Court, whichever is greater.
"The Petitioner states and submits that out of 57 working Judges, 9 Judges are going to be retired at the end of this year in the circumstances, if the vacancies are not been filled up the working strength of Judges at Bombay High Court will be decreased to 48 at the end of this year 2022.”
The petitioners claimed that not filling of all the vacant post of Judges is a straight away denial of access of justice to the citizens. It is pertinent to note that not filling up the vacancies of Judges in time causes a delay in delivery of justice. The Petitioner further submits that shortage of judges in judiciary is violation of fundamental rights to citizens."
The association says that it is high time a permanent mechanism is created for timely filling up the posts of Judges is soon as it gets vacant.
That people are languishing in jail and their hail application are pending due to non-availability of Judges.
Article 226 in The Constitution Of India 1950
226. Power of High Courts to issue certain writs
(1) Notwithstanding anything in Article 32 every High Court shall have powers, throughout the territories in relation to which it exercise jurisdiction, to issue to any person or authority, including in appropriate cases, any Government, within those territories directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibitions, quo warranto and certiorari, or any of them, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III and for any other purpose
(2) The power conferred by clause ( 1 ) to issue directions, orders or writs to any Government, authority or person may also be exercised by any High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to the territories within which the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises for the exercise of such power, notwithstanding that the seat of such Government or authority or the residence of such person is not within those territories
(3) Where any party against whom an interim order, whether by way of injunction or stay or in any other manner, is made on, or in any proceedings relating to, a petition under clause ( 1 ), without
(a) furnishing to such party copies of such petition and all documents in support of the plea for such interim order; and
(b) giving such party an opportunity of being heard, makes an application to the High Court for the vacation of such order and furnishes a copy of such application to the party in whose favour such order has been made or the counsel of such party, the High Court shall dispose of the application within a period of two weeks from the date on which it is received or from the date on which the copy of such application is so furnished, whichever is later, or where the High Court is closed on the last day of that period, before the expiry of the next day afterwards on which the High Court is open; and if the application is not so disposed of, the interim order shall, on the expiry of that period, or, as the case may be, the expiry of the aid next day, stand vacated
(4) The power conferred on a High Court by this article shall not be in derogation of the power conferred on the Supreme court by clause ( 2 ) of Article 32.
 Article 217 in The Constitution Of India 1950
217. Appointment and conditions of the office of a Judge of a High Court
(1) Every Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State, and, in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the chief Justice, the chief Justice of the High court, and shall hold office, in the case of an additional or acting Judge, as provided in Article 224, and in any other case, until he attains the age of sixty two years Provided that
(a) a Judge may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office;
(b) a Judge may be removed from his office by the President in the manner provided in clause ( 4 ) of Article 124 for the removal of a Judge of the Supreme Court;
(c) the office of a Judge shall be vacated by his being appointed by the President to be a Judge of the Supreme Court or by his being transferred by the President to any other High Court within the territory of India
(2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Judge of a High Court unless he is a citizen of India and
(a) has for at least ten years held a judicial office in the territory of India; or
(b) has for at least ten years been an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession; Explanation For the purposes of this clause
(a) in computing the period during which a person has held judicial office in the territory of India, there shall be included any period, after he has held any judicial office, during which the person has been an Advocate of a High Court or has held the office of a member of a tribunal or any post, under the Union or a State, requiring special knowledge of law;
(aa) in computing the period during which a person has been an advocate of a High Court, there shall be included any period during which the person has held judicial office or the office of a member of a tribunal or any post, under the Union or a State, requiring special knowledge of law after he became an advocate;
(b) in computing the period during which a person has held judicial office in the territory of India or been an advocate of High Court, there shall be included any period before the commencement of this Constitution during which he has held judicial office in any area which was comprised before the fifteenth day of August, 1947 , within India as defined by the Government of India Act, 1935 , or has been an advocate of any High Court in any such area, as the case may be
(3) If any question arises as to the age of a Judge of a High Court, the question shall be decided by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the decision of the President shall be final