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Judges cleared

New Delhi, July 31: The government is understood to have cleared senior counsel U.U. Lalit’s elevation as a Supreme Court judge along with three high court chief justices, one of whom began her career as a sessions judge.

The warrant of appointments are likely to be issued in the next couple of days, sources said.

The clearances mean the Supreme Court would now have 30 judges against the sanctioned strength of 31.

Besides Lalit, the others are Jharkhand Chief Justice R. Bhanumati, Meghalaya Chief Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Guwahati Chief Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre. The four names had been cleared by the Supreme Court collegium on July 11.

What is significant is the elevation of Justice Bhanumati, who would be the second woman sessions judge to rise to the country’s highest court. Earlier, Justice Fathima Beevi, who started as a sessions judge in Kerala, had been promoted to the Supreme Court in 1989.