on 7 August 2019 passed a bill which seeks to increase the number of Supreme Court judges from the present 30 to 33
with a view to reducing pendency of cases. Moving "The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019
" for consideration and return, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
- The bill comes days after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the number of Supreme Court judges.
- In 1988, about three decades ago, the judge strength of the SC was increased from 18 to 26, and then again after two decades in 2009, it was increased to 31, including the CJI, to expedite disposal of cases to keep pace with the rate of institution.
- As of now, the Supreme Court has a sanctioned strength of 30 judges, plus the chief justice of India -- 31 judges.
- The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956 was last amended in 2009 to increase the judges strength from 25 to 30 (excluding the CJI).
- The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956 originally provided for a maximum of 10 judges (excluding the CJI).
- This number was increased to 13 by the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 1960, and to 17 in 1977.
- The working strength of the Supreme Court was, however, restricted to 15 judges by the cabinet (excluding the chief Justice of India) till the end of 1979.
- As on the June 1, there were 58,669 cases pending in the Supreme Court.