Legal Nation

Many firsts as Supreme Court gets nine new judges today

NEW DELHI: It is a historic day for the Indian judiciary as the Supreme Court of India will get nine new judges on Tuesday.

A history of the sort will be created when the Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana will administer the Oath of Office and Secrecy to the nine Judge Designates at 10.30 AM today.

It will be for the first time in the history of the apex court when nine judges would be taking the oath of office in one go.

Nine new judges, including three women, would be administered the oath of office as judges of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Tuesday.

Notably, the swearing-in ceremony would be held in the auditorium of the Supreme Court’s additional building complex.

In another first, the venue of the ceremony has been shifted to the auditorium. This has been done keeping in view the need for strict adherence to COVID norms, according to the top court’s PRO.

Traditionally the oath to the new judges is administered in Court Room No.1 which is presided over by the CJI. But, this time the venue has been shifted to the SC auditorium.

“This is for the first time in the history of the Supreme Court of India when nine judges will be taking the oath of office in one go. In another first, the venue of the ceremony is shifted to the auditorium. This is done keeping in view the need for strict adherence to COVID norms,” a press release issued by the apex court’s public relations office said.

With the swearing-in of the nine new judges, the strength of the Supreme Court would rise to 33, including the CJI, out of the sanctioned strength of 34.

The swearing-in ceremony would be telecast live on DD News, DD India and a live webcast would also be available on the home page of the official web portal of the Supreme Court.

The nine new judges who would be administered the oath of office as apex court judges include – Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka (who was the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court), Justice Vikram Nath (who was the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court), Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari (who was the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court), Justice Hima Kohli (who was the Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court) and Justice BV Nagarathna (who was a judge of the Karnataka High Court).

Besides them, Justice CT Ravikumar (who was a judge of the Kerala High Court), Justice MM Sundresh (who was a judge of the Madras High Court), Justice Bela M Trivedi (who was a judge of the Gujarat High Court) and PS Narasimha (who was a senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General) would also be administered the oath of office by the CJI.

Justice Nagarathna is in line to become the first woman CJI in September 2027. Justice Nagarathna, born on October 30, 1962, is the daughter of former CJI E S Venkataramiah. Three out of these nine new judges, Justices Nath and Nagarathna and Narasimha, are in line to become the CJI.

Justice Nath is in line to become the CJI upon the retirement of sitting apex court judge Justice Surya Kant in February 2027. Justice Nath would be succeeded by Justice Nagarathna, who would have a tenure of over a month as the head of the judiciary.

Narasimha would succeed Justice Nagarathna as the CJI and would have a tenure of over six months.

The apex court Collegium had on August 17 recommended these nine names for appointment as judges of the top court.

Later, President Ram Nath Kovind had signed the warrants of their appointment as apex court judges. The top court, which came into being on January 26, 1950, has seen very few women judges since its inception and in the last over 71 years has appointed only eight lady judges starting from M Fathima Beevi in 1989.