High Court: Tripura

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Shortage of judges

3-judge Tripura HC pushed into constitutional problem, Jan 21, 2017: The Times of India

 Tripura high court Chief Justice T Vaiphei has written to Chief Justice of India J S Khehar seeking resolution of a peculiar constitutional crisis faced by the HC, which is operating with three judges against the sanctioned strength of four.

In his letter, the HC chief justice said intra-court appeals --appeals against a single judge's order before a two-judge or division bench --was piling up and that he was finding it difficult to constitute the required bench. He requested the CJI to transfer these pending appeals to another HC in the region to facilitate early justice to litigants.

With a working strength of three judges, when an appeal is filed against the judgment authored by a particular judge, he cannot be part of the division bench. This leaves the chief justice and the other judge to constitute the division bench. If for some reason, one of them recuses from hearing an appeal, then the case remains pending.

A bench of CJI Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud requested attorney general Mukul Rohatgi to assist the apex court in finding a solution to the problem and posted it for hearing on Monday. The HC has three judges --Chief Justice Vaiphei and Justices S C Das and S Talapatra. The CJI said transferring these appeals to another HC would require notices to be given to litigants, who may have to travel long distances to attend court hearings.


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