Gavel Law Insider

Bhuvana Marni

Published on: October 4, 2022 at 19:23 IST

According to those aware of the developments, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Uday Umesh Lalit has recommended appointing four new Supreme Court judges by requesting the formal approval of his fellow judges in the collegium.

Justice Lalit has suggested Ravi Shankar Jha of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, Sanjay Karol of the Patna High Court, PV Sanjay Kumar of the Manipur High Court, and Senior Attorney KV Viswanathan for the remaining four collegium members.

The collegium members, the first five Supreme Court Justices, traditionally sign the resolutions in person after deciding which candidates to propose to the Union government for an appointment.

The previous meeting of the collegium, set for September 30, was postponed owing to the absence of one of the judges; however, this time, CJI Lalit wrote to the collegium members asking them to give their permission to the four names.

The court closed the next day for the Dussehra holiday and won’t open again until October 10.

The collegium now includes Justices Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, SA Nazeer, and KM Joseph in addition to CJI Lalit.

According to those with knowledge of the situation, the other four judges in the collegium got Justice Lalit’s letter on Saturday.

The letter emphasised that all four of the CJI’s nominees had been discussed at prior collegium meetings and that the members of the collegium had also been given copies of the nominees’ judicial performance records.

The people cited above noted that two other collegium members had requested more time to react, while Justice Lalit and another collegium member had approved the nomination of four additional justices to the top court.

Out of its 34 authorized judges, the supreme court is now short five. One nomination for the highest court was made last week by the collegium led by Justice Lalit.

Dipankar Dutta, the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, was suggested for promotion.

On November 8, Chief Justice Lalit will leave his position. Justice Chandrachud will take his place.

Later this month, the government is anticipated to issue a notice designating Justice Chandrachud as the new Chief Justice of India.

The former additional solicitor general and senior attorney Viswanathan, one of the four candidates put up by Justice Lalit, would be appointed Chief Justice if his name is approved by the collegium and the government.

He will take the helm from Justice JB Pardiwala in August 2030, and may have a tenure of about nine months as the CJI.

If promoted, Justices Jha and Karol would step down from their positions in 2026, while Justice Kumar would leave the Supreme Court in 2028.

As per constitutional provision, at age of 65, a Supreme Court judge retires from the bench.

The Supreme Court collegium has recommended the names of three high court judges for promotion as Chief Justices of the Orissa, Karnataka, and Jammu and Kashmir high courts through a resolution dated September 28.

Three judges and two high court Chief Justices were also nominated for transfer.

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