In this edition of Judiciary Watch, we take a look at Patna High Court, where no new judge aside from the Chief Justice has been appointed for more than two years.
The Patna High Court is currently functioning with only twenty judges.
As per data available on the website of the Department of Justice, the Patna High Court has a a total sanctioned strength of 53 judges - 40 permanent judges and 13 additional judges.
However, it currently has only 20 permanent judges and no additional judges.
Thus, over 62 per cent of the sanctioned posts are lying vacant.
The last appointment to the Patna High Court was in November 2019, when Justice Sanjay Karol was appointed to the post of Chief Justice. Justice Karol was serving as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court before taking over the reins at the Patna High Court.
The appointment of puisne judges goes even further back to April 2019, when Anjani Kumar Sharan, Anil Kumar Sinha, Prabhat Kumar Singh and Partha Sarthy were appointed judges. No appointment has been made since then.
Interestingly, the last recommendation made by the Supreme Court Collegium was also with regard to the transfer of CJ Karol from Tripura to Patna.
Similarly, the last Collegium recommendation on appointment of puisne judges was also in April 2019, when the four above-mentioned judges were recommended.