THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Functioning of many courts across the state has been affected owing to the delay in recruitment of judicial officers. While legal sources said that functioning of over 150 courts, mainly munsiff courts, were affected due to the delay in recruitment, High Court sources claim that the number of vacancies wasn't that high. Initiating recruitment only on the basis of arising vacancies instead of recruiting based on anticipated vacancies and termination of service of temporary judicial officers were cited by lawyers as reasons for the mass vacancies. Venu Karunakaran, High Court registrar in charge of recruitment, said that the delay in recruitment was due to some court cases.
"There is no inordinate delay in recruitment. Some of the appointments were affected due to court cases. Service of temporary judicial officers was terminated as a policy decision. The vacancies are not too high as being projected by the lawyers," he said. Officials at the concerned section at High Court refused to divulge the exact vacancy position, insisting on an application under Right to Information. According to lawyers, the delay in filling vacancies would lead to delayed justice and piling up of cases. "Even now case of 2011 and 2012 are being considered by courts. The delay in recruiting vacancies would aggravate the situation," he said.
While the High Court recently selected 35 judicial officers, they would be posted at court only after a month. Earlier the delay in recruitment used to be addressed with the appointment of temporary judicial officers, who were selected from among legal officials in government service. But this was recently done away with after a section of judicial officers moved court against this, said sources. At Vanchiyoor court alone, the functioning of about five courts was affected owing to delay in posting judge.
With the lone women judicial official planning to go on long leave soon, the court would be left with no woman judicial officer, lawyers pointed out. Mainly civil cases are affected due to the mass vacancy of judicial officers. Though other judicial officers would be given charge of a vacant court, they usually consider only urgent matters. Land acquisition litigations are also affected and it was delaying development and compensation for evictees. The rent control court in Thiruvananthapruam is among those remaining vacant, hence delaying rent disputes....