Nine new Supreme Court judges, including three women, were administered their oaths of office by Chief Justice NV Ramana on Tuesday morning. It is for the first time in the history of the apex court that nine judges took oath of office at one go. The swearing-in ceremony was held in the auditorium of the Supreme Court’s additional building complex.
With the swearing-in of the nine new judges, the strength of the Supreme Court has now risen to 33, including the CJI, out of the sanctioned strength of 34. The government’s nod to appoint nine judges comes a week after the Supreme Court collegium, ending a nearly two-year-long impasse, sent its recommendations. The list has three women, and includes Justice B V Nagarathna, who could become the first woman Chief Justice of India in 2027. Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka will be the most senior among the nine judges.
Others in the list include, in order of seniority, Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Vikram Nath, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice J K Maheshwari, Telangana High Court Chief Justice Hima Kohli, Karnataka High Court judge Justice B V Nagarathna, Justice C T Ravikumar of Kerala High Court, Justice M M Sundaresh of Madras High Court, Justice Bela Trivedi of Gujarat High Court, and senior advocate P S Narasimha.
Justices Nath, Nagarathna and senior advocate Narasimha will join the line of succession for the office of the CJI. While Justice Nath and Narasimha are likely to have a tenure of just over six months, the expected first woman CJI is likely to have a relatively short tenure of just over a month. With the additions, the apex court will have four women judges for the first time - Justices Nagarathna, Kohli and Trivedi, besides Justice Indira Banerjee, the only woman judge in SC at present.