President Pranab Mukherjee Clears The File, SC Gets 4 New Judges

President Pranab Mukherjee with Chief Justice TS Thakur and Law Minister Sadanand Gowda during a function
President Pranab Mukherjee with Chief Justice TS Thakur and Law Minister Sadanand Gowda during a function

The Supreme Court is all set to get four new judges as President Pranab Mukherjee signed the warrants of appointment on Wednesday. Union Minister of Law & Justice Sadanada Gowda announced the news in a series of tweets. Newly elevates Supreme Court judges would take the oath on Friday as the Supreme Court gets first appointment from 15 months. Last time, Justice Amitava Roy was appointed as the judge in apex court in February 2015.

The sanctioned strength of judges in Supreme Court is 31, while there are only 25 judges at present. Moreover, 5 judges would be retired by the end of the year, namely, Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla in July, Justices V. Gopala Gowda and C. Nagappan in October and Justices Anil R. Dave and Shiva Kirti Singh in November. The  fresh appointment of 4 judges to the apex court comes as a relief to the nation’s judicial system.

The news was shared by Law Minister from his Twitter account, adding that the centre took least time in clearing up the process and appointment.

As it seemed, the appointments of judges to the apex court were stalled owing to the different opinions of the Supreme Court Collegium and Central government. Centre had brought the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act in April 2015, but was struck down by the Supreme Court in October 2015. However, Centre and Supreme Court aligned to take up the earlier procedure for appointment of judges and approved the recommendations.

The issue came in limelight when Chief Justice TS Thakur pointed out the faults in judicial system at the Annual Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present. CJI Thakur emotionally appealed to the PM for speedy process in the appointment of judges.

The final approval was given by President Pranab Mukherjee late on Wednesday and the official notification should follow today.

The situation is no different in High Courts where there are as much as 450 vacancies,to be added by 50 more by the end of this year. Following the agreement between government and collegium, 163 names were cleared within 6 weeks.

The collegium had recommended the elevation of Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud of the Allahabad High Court and Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan of Kerala High Court and Senior Advocate L Nageswar Rao to the apex court and was approved on Wednesday.

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