Govt moves to appoint 3 judges
The government has taken an initiative to promote three High Court judges to the Appellate Division, as the apex court has been going through a shortage of judges for more than two years.
“A proposal has been sent to the president for appointing three judges to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, and the appointments will be made after getting approval from the president,” Law Minister Anisul Huq told The Daily Star yesterday.
However, the minister refused to disclose the names of the judges who will be promoted to the apex court.
Requesting anonymity, a high official of the law ministry told this correspondent that the ministry on February 2 sent a note to the president through the Prime Minister's Office, saying some judges need to be appointed to the Appellate Division, as their posts have remained vacant.
In 2009, the then president Zillur Rahman had raised the number of judges at the Appellate Division from seven to 11 prior to the disposal of some important cases linked with the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the fifth constitutional amendment, among others. But there are now six judges, including the chief justice, at this court, he said citing the note.
The official also said President Md Abdul Hamid may give approval for recruiting the judges for the apex court from the High Court Division after consulting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Law Minister Anisul Huq.
The president's approval may come to the law ministry next week, he added.
Five out of 11 judges of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court have retired since 2013, but no new appointments have yet been made.
The Supreme Court Bar Association has long been demanding appointment of judges to the vacant posts for quick disposal of pending cases.
According to the SC reports, 13,361 cases were pending with the Appellate Division as of December 31 last year. The number was 15,346 on December 31, 2014.
The Appellate Division settled 9,992 cases last year while 5,911 in 2014, 5,035 in 2013, 2,905 in 2012 and 1,359 in 2011, according to the reports published in January this year and February last year.
The last time the SC saw the new appointments was in March 2013 when four judges were appointed to the Appellate Division from the HC.