The Supreme Court will get four new judges on Friday as Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Ashok Bhushan and the former additional solicitor general L.Nageswara Rao are scheduled to be sworn-in.
Before being elevated to the apex court, Justice Chandrachud was chief justice of Allahabad High Court, Justice Khanwilkar was chief justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur and Justice Bhushan was chief justice of the Kerala High Court.
With their swearing-in, the strength of apex court judges will go up to 29, as against the sanctioned strength of 31 judges.
Justice Chandrachud is the son of former chief justice of India, Y.V. Chandrachud, who heldd the post from February 22, 1978 to July 11, 1985. Justice Chandrachud too has a chances of becoming the CJI.
Before his appointment to the bench, Nageshwara Rao appeared for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in the corruption case against her in the apex court. The court is hearing a plea by Karnataka government challenging the state high court order acquitting her in the case.
Additional solicitor general during the UPA regime, he continued in the post during the NDA government.
With the swearing in of Justice Chandrachud and Justice Khanwilkar – both from Maharashtra, the number of judges from the state would go up to five. The others are Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice Rohinton Nariman and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit.
While Justice Bhushan is from Uttar Pradesh, Nageshwara Rao is from Andhra Pradesh.
The swearing-in of new apex court judges is taking place after a gap of over a year.
Justice Amitava Roy was the last judge to be sworn in on February 27, 2015 before entire appointment process was put on hold on account of challenge to NJAC Act and the constitutional amendment paving way for NJAC that was enacted to replace the collegium system of appointment of judges.
The top court’s constitution bench had struck down both the constitutional amendment and the NJAC Act on October 16, 2015.