Nine new Supreme Court judges, including three women, whose elevation to the top court was cleared by the Centre, will be sworn-in on August 31, apex court sources said on Thursday.
Once the new judges take oath next week, there will be only one vacancy in the Supreme Court, which has a sanctioned strength of 34 judges.
President Ram Nath Kovind has signed the warrants of their appointment including that of Justice B.V. Nagarathna, who is in line to become the first woman Chief Justice of India in September 2027. Justice Nagarathna’s father, Justice E.S. Venkataramiah, had been a CJI for a few months in 1989.
Currently, Justice Indira Banerjee is the only serving woman judge in the apex court.
The other two women judges selected by the collegium are Justice Hima Kohli, who is the Chief Justice the of Telangana HC, and Justice Bela Trivedi of the Gujarat High Court.
Senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General P.S. Narasimha was the collegium’s choice for direct appointment to the bench. Narasimha’s recommendation has come after the retirement of justice Rohinton F. Nariman, who was the fifth lawyer to be directly appointed from the bar. Justice Nariman retired on August 12.
The other new judges are Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Vikram Nath, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari, and Kerala High Court judges, Justices C.T. Ravikumar and M.M. Sundresh.
According to sources familiar with development, with four out of nine new judges are Chief Justices of different high courts, these judges need some time to wind up their administrative and judicial work.