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CJI administers oath of office to five new SC judges

The strength of the apex court judges has now become 32

SC judges swearing in Justice Sanjay Karol being sworn-in as a Supreme Court judge by Chief Justice of India Justice D.Y. Chandrachud | PTI

hief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud administered oath of office to five new Supreme Court judges on Monday.

The five judges -- Justices Pankaj Mithal, Sanjay Karol, P.V. Sanjay Kumar, Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Manoj Misra -- were administered the oath during a swearing-in ceremony held in the SC premises.

With the five judges swearing in, the strength of the apex court judges has become 32.

The names of the apex court judges were recommended for elevation by the Supreme Court Collegium on December 13 last year. With the Centre clearing the recommendation, the five judges were appointed to SC.

Earlier, the top court was functioning with 27 judges, including the Chief Justice of India. Its sanctioned strength including the CJI is 34.

Their appointments come amidst strong observations by a Supreme Court bench questioning the delay on part of the government in appointing and transferring judges based on the recommendations of the SC Collegium.

The tiff between the government and the judiciary went on for long over the appointment of the judges to SC and the 25 high courts. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has strongly expressed his displeasure over the recommendation by the Collegium.

Rijiju had recently described the Collegium as being "alien" to the Indian Constitution, while Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar questioned the Supreme Court striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act and a related constitution amendment Act in 2015.

The government had sought to replace the Collegium system of appointing SC and HC judges with a new method under the NJAC law.

Through the NJAC law, the government had sought to replace the Collegium system of appointing Supreme Court and High Court judges with a new method.

While recommending the two names, the Collegium had said that the names sent by it on 13 December 2022 "shall have precedence over the two names recommended presently for appointment to the Supreme Court".

Live Law reported that the two remaining vacancies in Supreme Court could get filled in the coming days if President gives accord to SC Collegium's proposal to elevate Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar as SC judges.

(With PTI inputs)

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