Bill to increase number of SC judges in Lok Sabha

Against the backdrop of nearly 60,000 pending cases in the Supreme Court, a bill to increase the number of judges in the top court from 30 to 33 was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday.

As of now, the Supreme Court has a sanctioned strength of 30 judges, plus the chief justice of India -- 31 judges.

Once the bill gets parliamentary approval, its sanctioned strength will go up to 33, plus the CJI, according to the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill introduced by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The apex court is functioning with its full strength.

The bill comes days after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the number of Supreme Court judges.

Due to paucity of judges, the required number of constitution benches to decide important cases involving questions of law were not being formed, the CJI said.

"You would recall that way back in 1988, about three decades ago, the judge strength of the SC was increased from 18 to 26, and then again after two decades in 2009, it was increased to 31, including the CJI, to expedite disposal of cases to keep pace with the rate of institution," he wrote.

"I request you to kindly consider, on top priority, to augment the judge strength in the SC appropriately so that it can function more efficiently and effectively as it will go a long way to attain the ultimate goal of rendering timely justice to the litigant public," Gogoi wrote.