RS CLEARS BILL TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF JUDGES IN THE SUPREME COURT
09, Aug 2019
Prelims level : Polity & Governance - Judiciary Mains level : GS-II- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
Why in News?
- The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019 was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
- The Bill amends the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956.
- The Act fixes the maximum number of judges in the Supreme Court at 30 judges (excluding the Chief Justice of India).
- The Bill increases this number from 30 to 33.
- Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill.
Number of Judges in the Supreme Court:
- Initially the Constitution of India provided for a supreme court with a chief justice and 7 judges.In the early years, a full bench of the Supreme Court sat together to hear the cases presented before them.
- As the work of the court increased and cases began to accumulate, parliament increased the number of Judges (including the CJI) from the original 8 in 1950 to 11 in 1956, 14 in 1960, 18 in 1978, 26 in 1986 and 31 in 2009.
Eligibility to become a Judge of the Supreme Court:
- Article 124 of the constitution describes the following qualifications for a Judge of the Supreme Court:
- A citizen of India not exceeding 65 years age.
- He must be a judge of one high court or more (continuously), for at least five years, or
- An advocate there, for at least ten years, or
- A distinguished jurist, in the opinion of the President.