The Supreme Court is all set to appoint three judges and a senior lawyer to the Supreme Court after a hiatus of 15 months. This assumes significance as it would be the first set of appointments since the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was struck down in October 2015 and the collegium system was restored, reported The Hindu.
A Supreme Court collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, has recommended the elevation of Justice AM Khanwilkar of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Justice DY Chandrachud of the Allahabad High Court and Justice Ashok Bhushan of the Kerala High Court to the Supreme Court.
The Collegium has also recommended senior lawyer and former Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao for appointment as a Supreme Court judge.
These recommendations are significant as the Supreme Court is functioning with only 25 judges, though its approved strength is 31, including the CJI.
While Justice Thakur will retire on 3 January 2017, five more apex court judges will retire this year. These include Justice AR Dave who will retire on 18 November, Justice FMI Kalifulla (22 July), Justice V Gopala Gowda (5 October), Justice Shiva Kirti Singh (12 November) and Justice C Nagappan (3 October).
Interestingly, former law officer Nageshwar Rao is the fourth member from the Bar recommended for Supreme Court judgeship by the collegium after the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014.
Here are the profiles of all the four who have been recommended for the elevation:
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud: Jutice Chandrachud hails from Maharashtra and is a graduate from St Stephen’s College, according to a report in The Hindu. He did his post-graduation in Law and is also a Doctor of Juridical Sciences from Harvard. He has appeared in several PILs, including cases dealing with the rights of bonded women workers, HIV positive workers in the workplace, contract labour, and the rights of religious and linguistic minorities, the report added.
One notable fact is that his father, YV Chandracud, was the longest serving Chief Justice of India.
Justice AM Khanwilkar: Justice Khanwilkar was born on 30 July 1957 and hails from Pune in Maharashtra. He completed his degree in Commerce from Mulund College of Commerce, Mumbai University and got his law degree from KC Law College, Mumbai, Him Satta reported. He began his career in 1982 as an advocate. He began practising in the Supreme Court of India from 1984. He was appointed Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court in March 2000 and confirmed as permanent Judge in April 2002. He has also been a Standing Counsel for the State of Maharashtra for Supreme Court matters in October 1985, while he has also worked as Additional Advocate for the State Government of Maharashtra till December 1989. He was the Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court for a brief time in 2013 before being appointed the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in November that year.
Justice Ashok Bhushan: Justice Bhushan is currently the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court. Born on 5 July, 1956 in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, he graduated in Arts in 1975, before obtaining his Law Degree from the Allahabad University in 1979. He started practising in Allahabad High Court till his elevation as a permanent Judge of the Allahabad High Court in 2001. He has also served as Chairman, Higher Judicial Service Committee, the Kerala High Court website states.
L Nageshwar Rao: Rao is a known face in the political circles, serving thrice as the Additional Solicitor General of India — between June and December 2014, August 2013 to May 2014 during the previous UPA regime and earlier between 2003 and 2004 during the Vajpayee regime. He was also a member of the Supreme Court-appointed Mudgal Committee headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, tasked with conducting an independent inquiry into allegations of corruption, betting and spot-fixing in Indian Premier League matches, according a report in LiveLaw.in. He has been a senior advocate and has been practising in the Supreme Court since 1995. Interestingly, if he is made a Supreme Court Judge, he will be the seventh person in India's legal history to be directly appointed from the bar.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: May 05, 2016 14:13 PM