New Delhi: Looking at the shortage of judges and increasing number of pending cases, the Centre on Wednesday appointed four new judges to the Supreme Court with the total strength taking to 34.

A separate notification from the Law Ministry stated that Haryana High Court Chief Justice Krishna Murari, Himachal High Court Chief Justice V. Ramasubramanian, Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Kerala High Court Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy have been appointed judges in the Supreme Court. These judges were appointed on the basis of the recommendations of the Supreme Court Collegium.

Keeping in view the backlog of cases, the Centre has increased the strength of the judges from 31 to 34 which includes the Chief Justice of India also. More than 11.5 lakh cases were pending in the top court in July, according to the Law Ministry.

At the beginning of the year, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting the shortage of judges in the Supreme Court. He had written in the letter that an adequate number of constitution benches cannot be formed to decide on key issues because of the shortage of judges.

“You would recall that way back in 1988, about three decades ago, the judge strength of the SC was increased from 18 to 26, and then again after two decades in 2009, it was increased to 31, including the CJI, to expedite disposal of cases to keep pace with the rate of institution,” Gogoi had written to PM Modi.

“I request you to kindly consider, on top priority, to augment the judge-strength in the SC appropriately so that it can function more efficiently and effectively as it will go a long way to attain the ultimate goal of rendering timely justice to the litigant public,” his letter stated.

(With inputs from PTI)