Updated: August 27, 2021 5:10:23 am
President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday appointed nine judges to the Supreme Court, taking its total strength to 33 judges, one short of full strength.
Sources told The Indian Express that the judges are likely to be sworn-in on August 31 by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana.
The government’s nod to appoint nine judges comes a week after the Supreme Court collegium, ending a nearly two-year-long impasse, sent its recommendations. The list has three women, and includes Justice B V Nagarathna, who could become the first woman Chief Justice of India in 2027.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, Chief Justice of the Kamataka High Court, to be a Judge of the Supreme Court of India with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office,” the official notification stated.
Justice Oka will be the most senior among the nine judges.
Others in the list include, in order of seniority, Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Vikram Nath, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice J K Maheshwari, Telangana High Court Chief Justice Hima Kohli, Karnataka High Court judge Justice B V Nagarathna, Justice C T Ravikumar of Kerala High Court, Justice M M Sundaresh of Madras High Court, Justice Bela Trivedi of Gujarat High Court, and senior advocate P S Narasimha.
Justices Nath, Nagarathna and senior advocate Narasimha will join the line of succession for the office of the CJI. While Justice Nath and Narasimha are likely to have a tenure of just over six months, the expected first woman CJI is likely to have a relatively short tenure of just over a month.
With the additions, the apex court will have four women judges for the first time — Justices Nagarathna, Kohli and Trivedi, besides Justice Indira Banerjee, the only woman judge in SC at present.
The SC collegium will also have to now look into appointments of chief justices to at least four high courts: Karnataka, Gujarat, Telangana and Sikkim. Apart from these high courts, where the respective chief justices have been elevated to the SC, four other high courts — Allahabad, Calcutta, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh — currently have acting chief justices.
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