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The Supreme Court was short of seven judges and there were 251 vacancies in high courts across India till March 31, the Lok Sabha was informed Monday.

Among the high courts, the Allahabad High Court has the maximum 88 vacancies. Calcutta has 22, Patna has 21, Punjab and Haryana has 20, Andhra Pradesh has 18 and Gujarat has 13 vacancies.

The information was given to the Lok Sabha by Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily in reply to a query by Praveen Rashtrapal.

The Delhi High court has nine vacancies, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Bombay have eight each, Jharkhand has seven, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa have five each, Karnataka has four, Gauhati has three and Jammu and Kashmir and Madras have two each.

High courts in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand have one vacancy each.

‘… the entire process of initiation of proposal for appointment of a judge of the Supreme Court lies with the Chief Justice of India and for the appointment of a judge of a high court with the chief justice of the concerned high court,’ MOily said.

‘The government is periodically reminding the chief justices of the high courts to initiate proposals in time for filling up the existing vacancies a well as the vacancies anticipated in the next six months,’ the minister said.

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