New Delhi: Four new judges were appointed to the Supreme Court on Friday, thereby increasing the strength of SC judges to the full sanctioned strength of the top court at 31. The sanctioned strength of 31 members includes the Chief Justice. Thus, in a first, the Supreme Court will have a full sanctioned strength.
The Justices who were administered the oath of office by the CJI were B R Gavai, Surya Kant, Aniruddha Bose and A S Bopanna. These judges took part in the swearing-in ceremony in court no.1 in the presence of several other sitting apex court judges. The five-member Collegium is headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
Earlier, the names of justices Bose and Bopanna were returned by the government to the SC collegium citing seniority and representation of regions as the reasons. However, in a resolution passed earlier the month, the collegium had reiterated its recommendation to elevate justices Bose and Bopanna to the apex court, observing that nothing adverse has been found regarding their competence, conduct or integrity. The collegium had also recommended the names of justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant for elevation to the apex court.
A notification in this regard was issued by the Law Ministry after President Ram Nath Kovind signed their warrants of appointment. Justice Bose, whose parent high court is Calcutta, is the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court and is at number 12 in all-India seniority of judges. Justice Bopanna, whose parent high court is Karnataka, is the Gauhati High Court Chief Justice and stands at number 36. Justice Gavai is a judge of the Bombay High Court and Justice Kant is the incumbent Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court.
The appointment of these judges comes a day before the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha Election 2019.
(With agency inputs)