New Delhi, (PTI) A total of 15 judges were today appointed to the Allahabad and Punjab and Haryana high courts.
The fresh appointments came days after Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made it clear that non-finalisation of memorandum of procedure -- a document which will guide future appointments and transfers of judges -- will not have an impact on fresh appointments.
While nine additional judges were appointed to the Allahabad High Court, six were appointed to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, according to separate notifications.
The MoP is pending finalisation for over a year now as the judiciary and the executive continue to have differences over key clauses of the document.
Recently, 11 judges to three high courts were appointed.
As on 1 May, the 24 high courts had 450 vacancies. While the sanctioned strength is 1,079, the working strength is 629 judges.
Over the past several months, the Supreme Court collegium had recommended 29 names in two sets of 10 and 19 to the government for elevation as judges of the Allahabad high court.
Recently, the collegium had recalled one name after Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale acted on an Intelligence Bureau inquiry report which had claimed that the district judge based in Lucknow had allegedly received large bribes to grant bail to former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati.
In another case, the collegium had asked the government to put on hold the process of appointing an Uttar Pradesh lawyer as a judge of the Allahabad High Court after it found that the candidate is facing a criminal case.
In the case of Punjab and Haryana High Court, while six out of seven names recommended by the collegium were appointed today, one name is learnt to have been put on hold by the government.