The Supreme Court Collegium on Monday recommended the elevation of four High Court chief justices – MR Shah, Ajay Rastogi, Hemant Gupta and R Subhash Reddy – to the top court, reported Bar & Bench.
If the recommendations are cleared, the working strength of the Supreme Court will be 28 – three judges short of its sanctioned strength.
The Supreme Court collegium is a body of the five senior-most judges who are responsible for appointments to the top court. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi heads the collegium, which includes Justices MB Lokur, Kurien Joseph, AK Sikri and SA Bobde, reported Hindustan Times.
The recommendations come as Justices Kurian Joseph and MB Lokur are set to retire in November and December, leaving two vacancies by the end of the year. Justice AK Sikri is also set to retire in March.
Justice MR Shah practised law in the Gujarat High Court and was elevated as an additional judge in 2004. He was appointed chief justice of Patna High Court in August. Justice R Subhash Reddy is the chief justice of the Gujarat High Court. He became a permanent judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2004.
Justice Ajay Rastogi is the chief justice of Tripura High Court. He became a judge of the Rajasthan High Court in September 2004 and also served as the acting Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court. Justice Hemant Gupta heads the Madhya Pradesh High Court and has previously served as the acting chief justice of the Patna High Court in 2016 and a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2002.
The last appointment of Supreme Court judges was in August when Justice Indira Banerjee, Justice Vineet Saran and Justice KM Joseph were sworn in.