The Supreme Court on Monday attained full sitting strength of 34 as four new judges were sworn in. It is the highest ever in the history of the apex court.
Justices Krishna Murari, SR Bhat, V Ramasubramanian and Hrishikesh Roy were administered the oath of office by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended their names to the government last month.
The Parliament on August 7 increased the number of judges in the apex court from 31, including the CJI to 34.
In May, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking increase in the number of judges, and also raising the retirement age of High Court judges to 65 years. The Chief Justice had said due to lack of judges in the top court, the constitution of Constitution benches to conduct hearing of cases involving questions of law has not been formed.
“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,” Gogoi wrote.
“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,” CJI further wrote.
Justices V Ramasubramanian was heading the Himachal Pradesh High Court and Krishna Murari was the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Hrishikesh Roy were heading the Rajasthan and Kerala High Courts respectively.
The Centre on September 18, cleared the SC collegium’s recommendation on the names of the judges for the appointment to the top court.