The Centre has approved all nine names recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium, including three women judges, for the appointment as judges to the top court.
According to sources familiar with the development, the names have been sent to the President for approval.
Last week, the Supreme Court Collegium, which is headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprises Justices — U.U. Lalit, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageswara Rao, had recommended nine names, including eight high court judges and a senior advocate for the elevation to the top court.
Justice B.V. Nagarathna of the Karnataka High Court is in line to become the first woman Chief Justice of India. Justice Nagarathna’s father, Justice E.S. Venkataramiah had been a CJI for a few months in 1989.
Supreme Court judge Justice Navin Sinha retired on August 18, which left 10 vacancies against sanctioned strength of 35 in the top court. There was no appointment after September 2019. After the nine judges are sworn in, the top court will be left with only one vacancy.
The other two women judges selected by the Collegium are Justice Hima Kohli, who is the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court and Justice Bela Trivedi, who is a judge at the Gujarat High Court.
Senior advocate P.S. Narasimha is the Collegium’s choice for the 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.
Other names finalised by the collegium are — Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court; Vikram Nath, Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court; Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari, Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court; Justice C.T. Ravikumar, judge in Kerala High Court; and Justice M.M. Sundresh, judge in Kerala High Court.
It is probably the first time nine judges have been recommended for elevation by the Collegium, and the Centre has approved all the names.