New Delhi: Supreme Court of India is functioning without a single Muslim judge for the first time in a span of 11 years. It happened twice in last 30 years that the top court has no Muslim representation among its judges.
According to a report published in the Indian Express, the two Muslim judges Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla appointed to the SC bench in 2012 have retired on February 2 and July 22 respectively in 2016. After their retirement, the top Court is left with no Muslim judge.
Former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan expressed his concern over the issue and said that the Supreme Court needs proper representation of all religions, castes and regions.
“Hope it gets a Muslim judge soon. It’s not a question of their rights being denied, it’s a question of proper representation of all religions, castes and regions at the apex court. In many countries, special provisions are made to ensure the proper representation of all regions, religions and communities at the national court,” Justice K G Balakrishnan told The Indian Express.
The reports further points out at Bihar and Himachal High Courts which have Muslim chief justices. A resident of Assam, Chief Justice of Bihar Iqbal Ahmed Ansari retires in October 2017, while Himachal’s Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir, a resident of J&K, will retire in April 2017.
The Supreme Court has a maximum strength of 31 judges but is presently functioning with 28 judges only.