New Delhi: The Supreme Court collegium on Monday recommended the names of Justices M.R. Shah, Ajay Rastogi, Hemant Gupta and R. Subhash Reddy for elevation as apex court judges. According to a Bar & Bench report, if these recommendations go through, the working strength of the top court will be 28 – only three judges short of the sanctioned strength.
The recommendations come as Justices Kurian Joseph and M.B. Lokur are set to retire in November and December respectively. Additionally, Justice A.K. Sikri is also set to retire in March. The last appointments of the Supreme Court judges were made in August when Justice Indira Banerjee, Justice Vineet Saran as well as Justice K.M. Joseph were sworn in.
Those familiar with the collegium proceedings said the elevation of these four high court judges was recommended unanimously, Hindustan Times reported.
The SC collegium – a body of the five top judges – is responsible for all appointments to the top court. It is headed by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and also includes Justices M.B. Lokur, Joseph, Sikri and justice S.A. Bobde.
Patna high court chief justice Shah was appointed to the post in August. He was recently transferred from the Gujarat high court where he practiced and was elevated as a judge in 2004. Justice Shad has served as an additional standing counsel for the Central government and has also appeared for the CBI.
Justice Rastogi has served as the chief justice of Tripura high court since March. He became a judge of the Rajasthan high court in September 2004 and has briefly served as the acting Chief Justice of Rajasthan high court.
Justice Gupta has been heading the Madhya Pradesh high court since March 2017. He has previously served as the acting chief justice of the Patna High Court in 2016 and a judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court in 2002.
Justice Reddy – currently serving as the Gujarat high court chief justice – comes from a family of farmers in Telangana’s Medak district and began his career as an advocate. In December 2002, he was elevated as an additional judge of the Andhra Pradesh high court and was sworn in as its permanent judge in 2004. In February 2016, he was elevated to his current post.