With Two Swearing-ins Today, Supreme Court Now at Full Strength of 34 Judges

Justices Prashant Kumar Mishra and K.V. Viswanathan took oath of office today as Supreme Court judges, following the Union government’s notification of the Collegium’s recommendations.

New Delhi: With the Union government issuing prompt notification of appointment of Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh high court Prashant Kumar Mishra and senior advocate K.V. Viswanathan as Supreme Court judges, the two took oath of office administered by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud on the Supreme Court premises today. 

With their appointment, the Supreme Court now has the full sanctioned strength of 34 judges. However, the court is scheduled to have three ceremonial benches this morning, in honour of the three judges who will retire during the summer vacation which starts from tomorrow. They are Justices K.M. Joseph, Ajay  Rastogi and V.Ramasubramanian who retire on June 16, 17 and 29 respectively. 

With these three vacancies, the Supreme Court Collegium is expected to recommend three more names for appointment before the Supreme Court resumes regular functioning on July 3. With Justice Krishna Murari retiring on July 8, the Supreme Court Collegium is likely to prepare a shortlist of three more names, whom it would recommend for elevation as Judges in the latter part of this year. Justice Ravindra Bhat retires on October 20, and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on December 25. 

Today’s swearing-in is happening in the backdrop of the surprise change affected by the Union government on Thursday when it replaced law minister Kiren Rijiju with Arjun Ram Meghwal. All eyes are on how the Supreme Court Collegium’s equation with the new minister will evolve in the coming days, which is likely to have a bearing on filling up the upcoming vacancies in the court.