Constitution & Law Current Affairs - 2019

Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2019 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2019 preparation for various examinations such as UPSC, SSC, State Civil Services, CLAT, Judicial Services etc.

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Four new Supreme Court judges appointed, strength now 34

The Centre on 18 September 2019 cleared the appointments of four new judges to the Supreme Court. With the appointment, the judges’ strength in apedx court is now 34. On August 30, the Supreme Court four chief justices for the appointment to the top court in order to fill the vacant posts.

Key Highlights

The newly appointed SC judges are-

  1. Haryana High Court Chief Justice Krishna Murari
  2. Himachal Pradesh High Court Chief Justice V. Ramasubramanian
  3. Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice S Ravindra Bhat
  4. Kerala High Court Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy

Once the newly appointed 4 SC Judges takes oath, the total strength of Supreme Court (34) will be highest ever till date.

The Supreme Court vacancies had increased its judicial strength from 31 to 34 (including Chief Justice of India) following the enactment of Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Bill of 2019 into law. One of said four judges would replace the vacancy following retirement of SC Justice A.M. Sapre.

Background

Originally, the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956 provided for a maximum number of 10 judges (excluding CJI). This strength was increased to 13 by Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 1960, and to 17 in 1977. However, till the end of 1979, the working strength of Supreme Court was, restricted to 15 judges by cabinet (excluding CJI). But the restriction was withdrawn at request of chief justice of India.

In 1986, the strength of top court was increased to 25 (excluding CJI). Later, the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 2009 further augmented the strength of SC from 25 to 30.

Bar Council of India imposes 3-year moratorium on opening of new law colleges

Bar Council of India (BCI), the apex bar body has imposed 3 year moratorium on opening of new institutions except for national law universities (NLUs), if proposed by a state. This decision has been taken to curb mushrooming of law colleges in the country and laying stress on improvement of standard of existing institutions. BCI can only approves or gives recognition to LLB degree and LLM and Ph.D degrees are not under its control.

BCI observations

BCI noted that there is no dearth of advocates and existing institutions are sufficient to produce required number of law graduates annually. It also held that the ones without any proper infrastructure or faculty will be closed down in the next three years. It said that there is urgent need to improve standard of teaching and it will train law teachers in the country. BCI has also requested state governments and universities to stop unfair means as well as to fill up vacancies of law teachers in all colleges/universities within 4 months period.

About Bar Council of India (BCI)

It is statutory body established by Parliament under the Advocates Act, 1961. It is mandated to regulate and represent Indian bar.

Functions:

It performs regulatory function by prescribing standards of professional conduct and etiquette and by exercising disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar.

It sets standards for legal education in the country and grants recognition to Universities whose degree in law will serve as qualification for enrolment as advocate.

It also performs representative functions by protecting rights, interests and privileges of advocates as well as provides financial assistance for organising welfare schemes for advocates.