regular-article-logo Monday, 02 October 2023

Supreme Court gets two more judges

New appointments will be sworn in at 10.30am on Monday

Our Legal Correspondent New Delhi Published 11.02.23, 03:02 AM
Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of India File picture

The Centre on Friday cleared the names of two high court chief justices for appointment as judges in the top court, taking the total number to the sanctioned strength of 34 judges, including the Chief Justice of India.

The names of ww High Court chief justice Rajesh Bindal and his Gujarat High Court counterpart Aravind Kumar were recommended by the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on January 31.


The two new judges will be sworn in at 10.30am on Monday.

All the six members of the collegium, led by CJI Chandrachud, had unanimously recommended the name of Justice Bindal. However, on Justice Kumar, Justice K.M. Joseph had “expressed his reservations on the ground that his name can be considered at a later stage”.

But Justice Joseph did not disclose the reasons for his reservations.

On February 4, five new judges — Justices Pankaj Mithal, Sanjay Karol, P.V. Sanjay Kumar, Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Manoj Misra — were sworn in as judges of the Supreme Court.

The total strength of the Supreme Court will reduce by eight judges by the end of this year as they will be demitting office upon attaining the age of superannuation (65 years). This includes four collegium members — Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, K.M. Joseph, M.R. Shah and Ajay Rastogi. The other judges who will be retiring this year are Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Krishna Murari, Ravindra Bhat and V.Ramasubramanian.

On January 31, in a first-of-its-kind resolution, the collegium had made it clear to the Centre that the names of Justices Aravind Kumar and Rajesh Bindal should be cleared only after the earlier December 13 list comprising five other names had been approved.

The collegium’s uncommon advice coincided with a perception in the legal fraternity that the Narendra Modi government adopted a “pick and choose” method to clear the names of judges, which affected the seniority of judges in the Supreme Court. Seniority is a critical factor that decides who becomes the Chief Justice of India.

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