In a first, nine Supreme Court judges to take oath at once on Tuesday
New Delhi, Aug 30: In a first, nine new judges, including three women, would be administered oath of office at one go as judges of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Tuesday.
Traditionally, the oath of office to new judges is administered in the CJI's court room.
With the swearing-in of the nine new judges on Tuesday, the strength of the Supreme Court would rise to 33, including the CJI, out of the sanctioned strength of 34.
"This is for the first time in the history of the Supreme Court of India when nine judges will be taking the oath of office in one go. In another first, the venue of the ceremony is shifted to the auditorium. This is done keeping in view the need for strict adherence to COVID norms," said a press release issued by the top court's public relations office.
It said the swearing-in ceremony would be telecast live on DD News, DD India and live webcast would also be available on the home page of official web portal of the Supreme Court.
The nine new judges who would be administered oath of office as top court judges includes -- Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka (who was the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court), Justice Vikram Nath (who was the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court), Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari (who was the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court), Justice Hima Kohli (who was the Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court) and Justice B V Nagarathna (who was a judge of the Karnataka High Court).
Besides them, Justice C T Ravikumar (who was a judge of the Kerala High Court), Justice M M Sundresh (who was a judge of the Madras High Court), Justice Bela M Trivedi (who was a judge of the Gujarat High Court) and Justice P S Narasimha (who was a senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General) would also be administered oath of office by the CJI.
Justice Nagarathna is in line to become the first woman CJI in September 2027. Justice Nagarathna, born on October 30, 1962, is the daughter of former CJI E S Venkataramiah.
Three out of these nine new judges -- Justices Nath and Nagarathna and Narasimha -- are in line to become the CJI.
Justice Nath is in line to become the CJI upon retirement of sitting top court judge Justice Surya Kant in February 2027. He would be succeeded by Justice Nagarathna, who would have a tenure of over a month as the head of the judiciary.
Justice Narasimha would succeed Justice Nagarathna as the CJI and would have a tenure of over six months.
The top court Collegium had on August 17 recommended these nine names for appointment as judges of the top court.
Later, President Ram Nath Kovind had signed the warrants of their appointment as top court judges.
The top court, which came into being on January 26, 1950, has seen very few women judges since its inception and in the last over 71 years has appointed only eight lady judges starting from M Fathima Beevi in 1989.
Presently, Justice Indira Banerjee is the lone serving woman judge in the top court after her elevation on August 7, 2018 from the Madras High Court where she was serving as the Chief Justice.
While high court judges retire at the age of 62, the retirement age of Supreme Court judges is 65.
The recommendation of these nine names by the five-member collegium headed by CJI Ramana at its meeting on August 17 had put an end to the 21-month-long logjam over appointment of new judges to the top court.