More than 15 years after the Supreme Court got a judge directly from the Bar, the collegium is learnt to be considering appointing two lawyers to the bench.
The two names — senior advocates Gopal Subramanium and Rohington Nariman — were discussed at the meeting of the SC collegium held last week and chaired by Chief Justice of India R M Lodha, sources privy to the discussion told The Indian Express.
The decision of the collegium is likely to be communicated to the government soon.
The last lawyer appointed directly to the Supreme Court bench was Santosh Hegde in 1999. He went on to become the Karnataka Lokayukta after retirement.
Besides the two lawyers, the collegium is also learnt to have recommended the names of two chief justices — Orissa High Court Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Arun Mishra.
Subramanium and Nariman are designated senior advocates and were solicitors general in the UPA-2 regime.
Subramanium, 56, who was appointed SG when the UPA returned to power in 2009, remained in the post until July 2011, when he resigned in protest against Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal’s decision to engage Rohington Nariman to represent his ministry in the Supreme Court in the 2G case.
He was a member of the Justice J S Verma committee constituted in 2013 to recommend changes to the criminal justice system in the wake of the gangrape-murder of a young woman in a bus in Delhi.
Nariman, 58, whose father Fali Nariman is also an eminent lawyer, took over as SG after Subramanium and remained in the post until February 2013. He resigned following a tiff with then law minister Ashwani Kumar.
Nariman was designated senior advocate at the young age of 37 years in 1993, with then Chief Justice of India M N Venkatachaliah amending the rules to allow the designation.
Kiran Bedi tried to establish her credentials as a secular, pro-women candidate.