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A crippling shortage: on vacancies in courts

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Lower courts, performing critical functions, must not be bogged down by vacancies
The burgeoning(तेजी से बढ़ते) docket(प्रमाण/दलील) burden(बोझ/भार) that weighs down the judiciary(न्यायालय-संबंधी/अदालती) is not because of its lumbering judicial processes alone, as it is often made out. The chronic(स्थायी/पुराना) shortage of judges and severe understaffing of the courts they preside(अध्यक्षता ) over are significant(महत्वपूर्ण) reasons. More than a decade after the Supreme Court laid down guidelines(दिशा निर्देशों ) in 2007 for making appointments(नियुक्तियों) in the lower judiciary within a set time frame, a similar(समरूप) issue is back before the highest court. The immediate(शीघ्र/निकटतम) context is the existence(मौजूदगी/संभव) of more than 5,000 vacancies in the subordinate(अधीन/आश्रित) courts. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has pulled up State governments and the administration of various High Courts for the delay in filling these vacancies. Answers provided(प्रदान की) in the Rajya Sabha reveal(प्रकट /प्रत्यक्ष करना) that as on March 31, 2018, nearly a quarter of the total number of posts in the subordinate courts remained(बने रहे/भरोसा करना ) vacant(रिक्त/शून्यचित्त).The court has put the actual figure at 5,133 out 22,036 sanctioned posts. The State-wise figures are quite alarming, with Uttar Pradesh having a vacancy percentage of 42.18 and Bihar 37.23. Among the smaller States, Meghalaya has a vacancy level of 59.79%. The reasons are not difficult to guess:(अनुमान) utter tardiness(मंदी/आलस्य) in the process of calling for applications, holding recruitment examinations and declaring(घोषित/प्रकट करना) the results, and, more significantly, finding the funds to pay and accommodate(समायोजित/अनुकूल बनाना) the newly appointed judges and magistrates. Besides(इस के अतिरिक्त), Public Service Commissions should recruit(भर्ती) the staff to assist these judges, while State governments build courts or identify space for them.

According to the Constitution(संविधान), district judges are appointed by the Governor in consultation(परामर्श/मंत्रणा) with the High Court. Other subordinate judicial officers are appointed as per rules framed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court and the State Public Service Commission. In effect, the High Courts have a significant role to play. A smooth and time-bound process of making appointments would, therefore, require(आकांक्षा करना/अपेक्षा करना) close coordination(समन्वय)between the High Courts and the State Public Service Commissions. A study released last year by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy revealed that the recruitment cycle in most States far exceeded the time limit prescribed by the Supreme Court. This time limit is 153 days for a two-tier recruitment process and 273 days for a three-tier process. Most States took longer to appoint junior civil judges as well as district judges by direct recruitment. This situation demands a massive infusion of both manpower and resources(साधन/उपाय). Subordinate courts perform the most critical(महत्वपूर्ण/आलोचनात्मक) judicial functions that affect the life of the common man: conducting(आयोजन/चालन) trials, settling civil disputes(विवाद/मतभेद), andimplementing(कार्यान्वयन/परिपालन) the bare bones of the law. Any failure to allocate(निर्धारित करना/बांटना) the required human and financial resources may lead to the crippling(गंभीर) of judicial work in the subordinate courts. It will also amount to letting down poor litigants and under trials(उपक्रम/विचाराधीन कैदियों ), who stand to suffer the most due to judicial delay.

Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: anxiety, concern, difficulty, duty, hardship
Antonyms: advantage, aid, assistance, benefit, blessing

2. Docket(प्रमाण/दलील
Synonyms: calendar, card, schedule, tab, tally

Synonyms: attend, control, direct, handle, keep
Antonyms: abandon, disorder, disorganize, disregard, give up

4. Existence(मौजूदगी/संभव) 
Synonyms: continuation, presence, reality, survival, world
Antonyms: abstract, end, death, inanimateness

5.Reveal(प्रकट /प्रत्यक्ष करना)
Synonyms: acknowledge, admit, affirm, announce, concede
Antonyms: conceal, contradict, deny, disavow, dispute

Synonyms: bare, deserted, idle, unemployed, unfilled
Antonyms: busy, employed, full, populated, used

7.Accommodate(समायोजित/अनुकूल बनाना)
Synonyms: contain, entertain, hold, rent, shelter
Antonyms: reject, turn away, bar, block, disarrange

8.Require(आकांक्षा करना/अपेक्षा करना) 
Synonyms: lack, crave, desire, miss, wish
Antonyms: dislike, hate, not want, have

Synonyms: coordination, engineering, planning, strategy, organization

10. Resources(साधन/उपाय)
Synonyms: assets, backing, bankroll, basics, belongings
Antonyms: debt




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