New Delhi: The Supreme Court attained its full strength today after the swearing of four new judges taking the total number of judges to 34, which is the highest ever.
Justices Krishna Murari, S.R. Bhat, V. Ramasubramanian and Hrishikesh Roy have been appointed as judges of the apex court.In May, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking increase in the number of judges, and also raising the retirement age of High Court judges to 65 years.
Justices V Ramasubramanian and Krishna Murari head the Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and Haryana high courts respectively.
Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Hrishikesh Roy head the Rajasthan and Kerala high courts respectively.
With a huge backlog of cases in the top court, the government had recently increased the strength of its judges from 31 to 34, including the Chief Justice of India.
Some of the consultee judges are learnt to have questioned the recommendation to elevate some of the candidates who are lower in the order in the all-India seniority list.
Consultee judges are those who have earlier served in courts where the candidate judges are currently posted. The views of consultee judges are not binding on the collegium.
The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956 originally provided for a maximum of ten judges (excluding the CJI).
This number was increased to 13 by the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 1960, and to 17 in 1977.