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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana is understood to have ended the nearly-two-year-long logjam by recommending nine names for appointment as judges in the apex court, sources said.
With the retirement of Justice R.F. Nariman on August 12, the strength of judges in the top court had come down to 25 as against the sanctioned strength of 34, including the CJI. Significantly, no appointment has been made after the superannuation of the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi on March 19, 2019.
Sources said that the five-member collegium, which also comprises Justices U.U. Lalit, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageswara Rao, has sent three names of woman judges, including Justice B.V. Nagarathna from the Karnataka high court who could become the first woman CJI.
According to the people familiar with the development, besides Justice Nagarathna , two other women judges picked for the appointment are Justice Hima Kohli, the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, and Justice Bela Trivedi, a Gujarat High Court judge.
The collegium is also understood to have selected senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha for direct appointment from the Bar.
The other names, as per sources, are Justices Abhay Shreeniwas Oka (Chief Justice of Karnataka high court), Vikram Nath (Chief Justice of Gujarat high court), Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari (Chief Justice of Sikkim high court), C.T. Ravi Kumar (a judge in Kerala high court) and M.M. Sundersh (also a judge in Kerala high court).
The recommendations, if accepted, will fill all current vacancies taking the working strength to 33.
One additional vacancy would arise on Wednesday, when Justice Navin Sinha retires.