With the Centre clearing appointments of four more judges to the Supreme Court, the country’s top court has now got its full strength of 34 judges.
The Supreme Court strength was increased from 31 to 34 recently following the enactment of the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Bill of 2019 into law.
One of the four judges would replace the vacancy following the retirement of Justice AM Sapre recently.
The new judges are Chief Justices of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, Rajasthan and Kerala High Courts – Justice V Ramasubramanian of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, Justice Krishna Murari of the Punjab and Haryana HC, Justice S Ravindra Bhat of Rajasthan HC and Justice Hrishikesh Roy of the Kerala HC.
The Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had recommended their elevation as apex court judges on August 28.
With a huge backlog of cases, the sanctioned strength of SC judges was increased days after CJI Ranjan Gogoi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the number of judges in the top court.
According to a written reply by the Law Ministry to a Rajya Sabha question on July 11, 59,331 cases are pending in the top court. Due to paucity of judges, the required number of constitution benches to decide important cases involving questions of law were not being formed, the CJI said.
Due to paucity of judges, the required number of constitution benches to decide important cases involving questions of law were not being formed, the CJI said.
“You would recall that way back in 1988, about three decades ago, the judge strength of the SC was increased from 18 to 26, and then again after two decades in 2009, it was increased to 31, including the CJI, to expedite disposal of cases to keep pace with the rate of institution,” he wrote, according to a Times of India (TOI) report.
“I request you to kindly consider, on top priority, to augment the judge-strength in the SC appropriately so that it can function more efficiently and effectively as it will go a long way to attain the ultimate goal of rendering timely justice to the litigant public,” Gogoi wrote.