Five new judges were appointed to the Supreme Court on Wednesday evening, taking the apex court’s working strength to 28 but still short of 31. President Pranab Mukherjee signed the Warrants of Appointment for the elevation of 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 and will be sworn in as judges of the Supreme Court on Friday.
Sources in the government said that the appointments of nine regular chief justices in different high courts are unlikely to be made this month. The Supreme Court Collegium that recommends appointments to the higher judiciary had ealier this month sent separate recommendations for both SC and HC. The recommendations for the HCs have been circulated to the respective state chief ministers and governors for their comments.
President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed acting chief justices to four high courts as the respective chief justices have been elevated to the Supreme Court. Justice Huluvadi Gangadharappa has been appointed as acting chief justice of Madras High Court, Justice Kalpesh Jhaveri for Rajasthan High Court, Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan for Kerala High Court and Justice Pritinker Diwakar for Chhattisgarh High Court.
As per reports, the Law Ministry has cleared the collegium’s recommendations for the appointment of chief justices to various high courts and forwarded the files to the PMO. The collegium recommended Justice Hemant Gupta for Madhya Pradesh High Court ;Justice Abhilasha Kumari for Tripura High Court; Justice BD Ahmed for Jammu and Kashmir High Court; Justice Pradeep Nandarajog for Rajasthan High Court; Justice Rajendra Menon for Patna High Court; Justice T Vaiphei for Hyderabad High Court; Justice HG Ramesh for Madras High Court; Justice TB Radhakrishnan for Chhattisgarh High Court, Justice PK Mohanty for Jharkhand High Court and Justice Navaniti Prasad for Kerala High Court.
The apex court worked for most of last year with 23 judges during Justice TS Thakur’s tenure as CJI. The newly appointed judges will take oath soon, ministry sources said. Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant are retiring from the Supreme Court this year.