As of now, the Supreme Court has a sanctioned strength of 30 judges, plus the chief justice of India -- 31 judges. (File Photo)
Parliament on Wednesday 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, "I would urge the House to consider the Bill". Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "We have no objection to it...but members of Parliament want to discuss it as we normally do not discuss judiciary...We get chance once in a decade or six months...We would also want to know about the judiciary."
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said it is a Money Bill, to which the Law Minister said that he was willing to have a discussion on the judiciary in November. Satish Chandra of the BSP urged the government to ensure representation of Schedule Castes in the Supreme Court. Leader of the House Thaawarchand Gehlot urged the House to pass both the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019 and "The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
However, the Chair took up the Supreme Court Bill alone, which was passed without discussion. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on August 5. As of now, the Supreme Court has a sanctioned strength of 30 judges, plus the chief justice of India -- 31 judges. After Parliament's nod, its sanctioned strength will go up to 33, plus the CJI.