Oath | CJI Chandrachud administers oath to five new High Court judges




New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud administered the oath of office to five new judges of the Supreme Court on Monday. Five judges- Justice Pankaj Mithal, Justice Sanjay Karol, Justice PV Sanjay Kumar, Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Justice Manoj Mishra were sworn in at the oath taking ceremony held in the Supreme Court premises. With the appointment of five judges, the total strength of judges in the apex court has gone up to 32, which is two less than its sanctioned strength. The Supreme Court collegium had recommended the names of these five judges for elevation as judges of the apex court on December 13 last year.

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on February 4 this year along with Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal, Patna High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Karol, Manipur High Court Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar, Patna High Court Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah And had announced the appointment of Justice Manoj Mishra of the Allahabad High Court as a judge of the apex court. The announcement was made amid a standoff between the Center and the judiciary over the process of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and 25 high courts.

The top court and the government have openly expressed their differences over the collegium system of appointing judges to the higher judiciary. Rijiju recently described the collegium system as ‘alien’ to the Indian Constitution, while Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar criticized the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act and its related Constitutional Amendment Act in 2015. The decision was questioned. Under the NJAC Act, the government wanted to replace the collegium system of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts.

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The Center had last Friday assured the Supreme Court that the collegium’s recommendation for appointment of five judges to the apex court would be cleared soon. The Supreme Court collegium had on January 31 recommended the elevation of two more judges — Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Arvind Kumar — to the apex court.

Once his name is cleared and he takes oath, all 34 vacancies of judges in the apex court will be filled. While recommending the names of Justice Bindal and Justice Kumar, the collegium had clarified that the names forwarded by it on December 13, 2022 ‘will be given preference over the existing names in promotion to the apex court’. (agency)


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