The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has signed the Supreme Court (Number of judges) Amendment Bill,2019 to increase the strength of the judges of the Supreme Court to 34 including the Chief Justice of India.

The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 05.08.2019. Prior to the introduction of the Bill, the Supreme Court had sanctioned strength of 30 judges excluding the Chief Justice.

The Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi had, in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, requested him to increase the strength of the judges in the Supreme Court due to the rising number of pending cases in the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of India has intimated that inadequate strength of judges is one of the prime reasons for backlog of cases in the Supreme Court.

Also due to the inadequacy of the judges, the Court is not able to constitute enough number of constitutional benches to decide important cases involving questions of law. Thereby resulting in the delay in hearing of other civil and criminal matters.

This law amends section 2 of the Supreme Court (number of judges) Act, 1956 thereby increasing the total number of judges to 34 from 31.

With the law now coming into force, the Supreme Court collegium will recommend three names to the government for appointment of Supreme Court judges.


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