The Supreme Court got four new judges on Wednesday, taking its strength to 34, the highest ever, PTI reported. Justices Krishna Murari, SR Bhat, V Ramasubramanian and Hrishikesh Roy were appointed judges of the top court.

Ramasubramanian heads the Himachal Pradesh High Court while Murari is the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Kerala High Court is headed by Roy while Bhat is the chief justice of the Rajasthan High Court. The judges will take oath on September 23.

The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the names of the judges to the government last month. On August 7, the Rajya Sabha passed the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019, to increase the number of Supreme Court judges from 31 to 34 in order to reduce the pendency of cases.

On July 31, the Union Cabinet had approved the proposal to increase the strength of judges in the Supreme Court. The strength was last increased from 26 to 31 in 2009, and all positions got filled this year for the first time in over a decade.

In June, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the top court had 58,669 pending cases and the number was rising due to more cases being filed. The chief justice had asked Modi to “augment the judge strength in the SC appropriately” so that it was able to function more efficiently. Gogoi had also highlighted that the lack of sufficient judges came in the way of setting up five-judge Constitution benches to substantial cases.

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