Editorial Analysis || The case for increasing the retirement age of judges

• The idea of increasing the age of retirement has come into focus.

• The issue was discussed in the Venkatachaliah Report, also called the Report
of the National Commission to review the working of the Constitution in 2002.

• In 2010, The Constitution (114th Amendment) Bill aimed to raise the retirement age of High Court judges to 65 from 62 years but did not pass.

• In Western liberal democracies, the retirement age of around 70 for judges is common.

• In the Supreme Court of the United States and constitutional courts in Austria and
Greece, judges are appointed for life.

• If India increasing the retirement age for judges of the High Courts and the Supreme
Court to 70, senior serving judges will bring years of experience.

• The judge-population ratio in India is among the lowest in the world at 19.66 judges per
million people when compared to U.K. with 51 and the U.S. with 107.

Why it required so?

• It will enable the judiciary to deal with the enormous pendency of cases. India faces a backlog of around 3.3 crore cases. According to National Judicial Data Grid data,

• More than 2.84 crore cases are pending in the subordinate courts.

• 43 lakh cases are pending before the High Courts.

• 57,987 cases are pending before the Supreme Court.

• Laws appoint retired High Court and Supreme Court judges in tribunals till the age of 70
already.

• As the Indian economy grows, the ratio of litigation to the population will increase
exponentially.

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