Justices Hemant Gupta, R Subhash Reddy, MR Shah and Ajay Rastogi were sworn in as judges of the Supreme Court on Friday, PTI reported. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi administered to them the oath of office.
The appointments raise the Supreme Court’s strength to 28 judges, three short of its sanctioned strength of 31. But Justices Kurian Joseph and MB Lokur are set to retire in November and December, which will leave two vacancies by the end of the year. Justice AK Sikri is set to retire in March.
The Supreme Court Collegium on Monday had recommended the elevation of the four judges. The collegium, headed by Chief Justice Gogoi, is a body of the five senior-most judges responsible for appointments to the top court. President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday cleared their names for elevation.
While recommending the names, the collegium said it kept in mind that the High Courts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Punjab and Haryana had not been represented for a long time, LiveLaw reported.
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 was the chief justice of the Gujarat High Court. He became a permanent judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2004.
Justice Ajay Rastogi was 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 headed the Madhya Pradesh High Court and also 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.