Five new judges were appointed to the Supreme Court, taking it working strength to 28. President Pranab Mukherjee has signed their Warrants of Appointment and the notifications will be issued shortly, sources in the government said here.
Those elevated to the apex court are five high court judges, including four chief justices of state high courts.
They are: Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Rajasthan HC Chief Justice Naveen Sinha, Kerala HC Chief Justice Mohan M Shantanagouder, Chhattisgarh HC Chief Justice Dipak Gupta and Karnataka HC judge S Abdul Nazeer.
The working strength of the Supreme Court has received a fillip with the fresh appointments. Though it has a sanctioned strength of 31, the top court is working with only 23 judges.
Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant are retiring from the Supreme Court this year.
On the recommendation of Justice Nazeer, former Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju had recently written, “Of the five names recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium for appointment as Supreme Court Judges, four are Chief Justices, while one of them, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, is a puisne judge.
Justice Katju had also expressed his surprise on the omission of KM Joseph’s name as he was not recommended by the Collegium.
He had said, “I was also surprised that Justice K.M. Joseph, presently Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court was not recommended, although he has been an outstanding judge. There is a controversy over this non recommendation.”
(With PTI inputs)