The Union government has reportedly cleared the nine names, including three women judges, sent by the Supreme Court Collegium for appointment as judges of the apex court. The list also features two names from the Gujarat High Court—Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bela Trivedi.
Following the approval, the names have been sent to the President for approval and the judges are likely to take oath on August 31. Notably, no judges’ appointments have been made for the top court after the superannuation of the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi on March 19, 2019. The Supreme Court, which has 24 judges against a sanctioned strength of 34, will be left with only one vacancy after the new judges are sworn in.
First woman CJI
With the elevation, Justice BV Nagarathna of the Karnataka High Court is in line to become the first woman Chief Justice of India—a milestone in the judicial history of the country. However, her tenure is likely to be short one of over a month. The top court, which came into being on January 26, 1950, has seen very few women judges since its inception and in the last over 71 years has appointed only eight lady judges starting from M Fathima Beevi in 1989.
Born on October 30, 1962, Justice Nagarathna is the daughter of former CJI ES Venkataramiah. She enrolled as an advocate on October 28, 1987, at Bangalore and practised in the field of “constitution, commerce, insurance and service, etc”.
Elevation of lawyer
The Centre has also cleared the name of senior advocate and former additional solicitor general PS Narasimha for direct appointment from the Bar. He is also in line to become the Chief Justice of India—the third lawyer from the bar to do so after Justice SM Sikri and Justice UU Lalit.
Justice Sikri was the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the Supreme Court bench in March 1964. He became the Chief Justice of India in 1971. Justice UU Lalit, who was elevated directly from a lawyer to a Supreme Court judge, is set to become Chief Justice after NV Ramana retires next year in August.
Other names in the list
The other names who have been cleared by the Centre upon the recommendation of the Supreme Court Collegium include Justices Abhay Shreeniwas Oka (Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court), Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari (Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court), CT Ravi Kumar (a judge in the Kerala High Court), MM Sundersh (also a judge in Kerala High Court) and Justice Hima Kohli (Chief Justice of Telangana High Court).
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