PATNA: Altogether 705 courtrooms across Bihar, including 21 in the Patna high court, are waiting for judges for regular hearing of cases.
According to law department and Patna high court sources, the state has 1,185 judges against the sanctioned strength of 1,890 posts, including 53 in higher judiciary. Out of the 705 vacant positions, 21 are in the Patna high court, which has 32 judges now. While 21 judges for the Patna high court are to be appointed by the Supreme Court’s collegium, rest of the posts would be filled through recruitments by Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) and later through promotions.
Sources said the Patna high court has recommended to the collegium the names of Patna high court registrar general Bidu Bhushan Pathak, Surendra Sharma, Sunil Kumar Mandal, Nadim Seraj, Nivedita Nirvikar and Anand Kumar Ojha,” sources said. “Tragically, Sharma, who was law department secretary, died almost a week back. Mandal is standing counsel while Seraj is government pleader,” sources said, adding they are awaiting the collegium’s nod to be followed by a final clearance from Union ministry of law and justice for their appointment.
“It’s a time-taking procedure. All names will not be necessarily accepted,” sources said.
Pathak’s name is the most prominent among them as he was earlier the district and sessions judge of Patna before being appointed the registrar general.
Sources said in lower judiciary across the state, there are 250 district and sessions judges (DJ) and additional district and sessions judges (ADJ) against the 550 sanctioned posts. “The vacant positions will be filled by promoting sub-judges,” sources said.
In the sub-judge category, 22 positions are vacant against the sanctioned strength of 409. “The elevation of sub-judges to ADJ rank might take place in October this year,” sources said.
Courts across Bihar have sanctioned strength of 878 magistrates out of which 362 positions are lying vacant. “Out of the 516 magistrates, 182 are newly recruited and will remain under training for one year,” sources said.