5 New SC Judges Take Oath, More Likely

Cur­rent strength 28/31; Jus­tice KM Joseph may be con­sid­ered in next lot

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Sa­man­waya.Rau­tray @times­group.com

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New Delhi: Five judges were sworn in to the Supreme Court on Fri­day, tak­ing their strength to a high of 28. A ju­di­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive hinted that there could be a few more el­e­va­tions. The top court’s sanc­tioned strength is 31, in­clud­ing the Chief Jus­tice of In­dia.

Jus­tices Naveen Sinha, Sanjay Kis­han Kaul, Deepak Gupta, Mo­han M Shan­tanagouder and S. Ab­dul Nazeer were sworn by CJI JS Khe­har early in the day. Sinha was Ra­jasthan high court chief jus­tice, Kaul was Madras HC CJ, Gupta was Ch­hat­tis­garh HC CJ, Shan­tanagouder was Ker­ala HC CJ and Nazeer was Kar­nataka HC CJ be­fore they were el­e­vated.

Kaul’s non-el­e­va­tion by the col­legium headed by for­mer CJI TS Thakur was a ma­jor bone of con­tention be­tween the col­legium and the gov­ern­ment and had vir­tu­ally stalled the ap­point­ments process of judges to higher courts. The spat re­sulted in the gov­ern­ment not clear­ing ap­point­ment of judges to high courts that were func­tion­ing at less than half their sanc­tioned strengths. The new col­legium cleared Kaul’s el­e­va­tion, end­ing the spat with the gov­ern­ment.

How­ever, the de­ci­sion to overlo- ok the case of Jus­tice KM Joseph of the Ut­tarak­hand high court came as a sur­prise to ju­di­cial quar­ters. A ju­di­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive said that there could be more el­e­va­tions, may be within a month, and Jus­tice Joseph is likely to be one of them.

“Jus­tice Joseph is a judge of im­pec­ca­ble in­tegrity, and cal­i­bre. But he still has time on his side. His name will be con­sid­ered soon,” the rep­re­sen­ta­tive said, hin- ting at fresh col­legium meet­ings to con­sider more rec­om­men­da­tions. Ac­cord­ing to the rep­re­sen­ta­tive, his trans­fer from Ut­tarak­hand to Andhra Pradesh, which was not com­pleted, will not stand in the way of his el­e­va­tion.

His name will be con­sid­ered along with a few more judges. Other names in­clude Gu­jarat HC Chief Jus­tice R Sub­hash Reddy and J&K High Court Chief Jus­tice Paul Vas­an­thaku­mar.

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