The Supreme Court collegium has recommended to the Centre the appointment of the chief justices of four High Courts to the top court to fill the newly created vacancies. The Parliament had passed a law earlier this month to raise the sanctioned strength of the top court from 31 to 34.
The judges who have been recommended for promotion by the collegium led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi were V Ramasubramanian, Krishna Murari, S Ravindra Bhat and Hrishikesh Roy.
Ramasubramanian is presently the chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, Murari of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Bhat of the Rajasthan High Court and Roy is the chief justice of the Kerala High Court.
All 31 positions in the Supreme Court had got filled recently for the first time in over a decade. With the retirement of Justice AM Sapre and the addition of three more positions, the Supreme Court now had four vacancies.
As of June 1, there were nearly 60,000 cases pending in the top court. Ranjan Gogoi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that month, asking him to “augment the judge strength in the Supreme Court appropriately” so that it was able to function more efficiently. The chief justice also told Modi that the lack of sufficient number of judges prevented him from setting up five-judge Constitution benches to hear cases involving substantial questions of law or the interpretation of the Constitution.