JUSTICES INDIRA Banerjee, Vineet Saran and K M Joseph on Tuesday took oath as judges of the Supreme Court, taking the total strength of the apex court to 25 out of a sanctioned 31.
Justice Joseph’s swearing in brings the curtains down on what was a simmering row between the judiciary over the Supreme Court Collegium’s January 10 recommendation to elevate him. Although the government finally accepted it, he was placed third in the order of seniority stirring a fresh controversy.
Although some apex court judges objected to this and raised it with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Monday, the order already decided upon prevailed on Tuesday and Banerjee was sworn in first, followed by Saran and Joseph.
With Banerjee taking charge, the Supreme Court has for the first time in its history, now has three women judges — the other two being Justices R Banumathi and Indu Malhotra.
The swearing-in ceremony started at 10.30 am in the courtroom of CJI Misra with Secretary General Ravindra Maithani reading out the Presidential warrants. The CJI administered the oath of office and secrecy to the three judges in a packed courtroom.
On January 10, the Supreme Court Collegium, which then comprised of CJI Misra and Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, had recommended the names of Justice Joseph and senior advocate Indu Malhotra for elevation to the Supreme Court.