Appointment of Ad-Hoc Judges

Ad hoc judges refer to a judge nominated by a unique process for a particular case, project, or period only – as opposed to and in contrast to a standard judge, selected through a normal procedure for a set period.

In this article, we will take you through the concept of Ad Hoc judges for your UPSC Prelims examination.

Indian Polity forms an integral part of the civil services examination; candidates can get details about the power and functions of the High Court at the linked article.

Aspirants can refer to the following links for Civil Services Examination preparation!

Understanding Ad hoc judges in India

  • Article 127 of the Indian Constitution proposes that when a quorum of permanent judges is needed to continue or hold a Supreme Court session, the Chief Justice of India can nominate a High Court judge as an ad hoc Supreme Court judge for a specified time.
  • The chief justice of the Supreme Court can only accomplish so after consulting with the chief judge of the High Court in question and accepting the President’s prior consent.
  • The judge selected for this post should be eligible to serve on the Indian Supreme Court.
  • It is the responsibility of the judge thus designated to attend Supreme Court sessions first and foremost, above his other obligations.
  • While doing so, the Ad hoc judge in India carries all of the power, authorities, and advantages and the obligations of a Supreme Court judge.

Supreme Court suggestions for Ad hoc Judges

The Supreme Court orally drafted forthcoming policies for the appointment and functioning of an Ad hoc judge. For example, if the pendency moves past a specific limit, say eight or ten years, in a particular jurisdiction, the Chief Justice might nominate a specific [retired] judge with expertise in those law domains as an Ad hoc judge. In addition, the appointment of Ad hoc judges would not be a risk to the assistance of other judges as the Ad-hoc judges will get treated as junior-level judges.

IAS aspirants can read about the Important Supreme Court Judgements important from the UPSC perspective at the linked article.

For upcoming UPSC 2022, check other important polity articles related to the constitution:

Overview of the Constitution

Sources of Indian Constitution

Indian Judiciary

Types of Writs in India

Role of Ad hoc Judges

  • Over five years old cases are usually assigned to the ad hoc judges. In spite of this, it would not be improper for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to exercise his discretion to hear such matters.
  • In a divisional bench of Ad hoc Judge and Sitting Judge in cases to be heard before the Division Bench, it is not necessary for the divisional bench to be formed. At present, the Division Bench may comprise only of ad-hoc judges because these are past cases that need to be heard by them.
  • Due to the very fact that the role of an ad hoc judge is to carry out the functions of a Supreme Court Justice, it would not be appropriate for an ad hoc judge to perform any other permitted work.

Way forward for the appointment of Ad hoc judges

  • Streamlining the appointment system

The vacancies must get filled without any undue delay. A reasonable time frame for the appointment of Ad hoc judges must get laid down, and the suggestions must be given in advance. In addition, the All India Judicial Services constitution is also a crucial factor that can assist India in establishing a fairer judicial system.

  • Use of technologies

Individuals are becoming more and more conscious of their privileges, so the number of cases registered in court is also rising. Furthermore, to deal with that, judicial authorities need to get trained, vacancies for the judges must be filled up quickly, and the usage of technology, particularly artificial intelligence, must be encouraged.

Aspirants can get the List of High Courts in India at the linked article. This is an important topic from the government exam general awareness preparation.

Other Related Links

Indian Polity Notes For UPSC

IAS Prelims: UPSC MCQ On Polity

Indian Polity Questions in UPSC Mains GS 2

Previous Year UPSC Polity Questions With Solutions

Topic-Wise GS 2 Questions for UPSC Mains

Polity Questions and Answers for IAS

Frequently Asked Questions on Ad-Hoc Judges


How should I prepare for my IAS Preparation?

You can use these notes to base your Ad Hoc judge’s UPSC preparation. You can also take the Current Affairs Quiz to strengthen your preparation.


Who is an Ad hoc judge?

An Ad hoc judge refers to a Supreme court judge appointed by a procedure for a particular project or case for a specific time.


Who determines the number of judges in India?

The Supreme Court’s arrangement gets defined by the number of judges designated by the Indian Parliament. The Constitution initially provided for 7 selected judges and one Chief Justice. Presently, the Supreme Court holds 34 judges, including the Chief Justice.


Why are Ad hoc judges appointed?

If at any moment there should not be a quorum of the Judges of the Supreme Court open to maintain or resume any session of the Court and the Chief Justice of India with the prior consent of the Indian President.


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