New Delhi: Four new judges were appointed to the Supreme Court Wednesday, raising their number to 31, the full sanctioned strength.
As of now, the apex court is functioning with 27 judges. The sanctioned strength is 31, including the chief justice. In the recent past, this is for the first time that the SC will have a full sanctioned strength.
The four appointed are justices Aniruddha Bose, A S Bopanna, B R Gavai and Surya Kant.
The names of justices Bose and Bopanna were earlier returned by the government to the SC collegium citing seniority and representation of regions as the reasons.
But in its resolution passed earlier this month, the collegium had reiterated its recommendation to elevate justices Bose and Bopanna to the apex court, observing that nothing adverse has been found regarding their competence, conduct or integrity.
The collegium had also recommended the names of justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant for elevation to the apex court.
Once sworn in, Justice Gavai could become the CJI in May, 2025, sources said. He will be the second Dalit Chief Justice of India after K G Balakrishnan.
Justice Balakrishnan had retired on May 11, 2010.
The five-member Collegium is headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
The Law Ministry notification was issued after President Ram Nath Kovind signed their warrants of appointment.
Justice Bose, whose parent high court is Calcutta, is the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court and is at number 12 in all-India seniority of judges.
Justice Bopanna, whose parent high court is Karnataka, is the Gauhati High Court Chief Justice and stands at number 36.
Justice Gavai is a judge of the Bombay High Court and Justice Kant is the incumbent Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court.
The appointments came a day before the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls.