The Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrchud on Monday administered the oath to two new Supreme Court Judges — Justices Aravind Kumar and Rajesh Bindal — taking the judges strength of the SC to 34, the actual sanctioned capacity of the Top Court.
Justice Kumar was the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court and Justice Bindal was Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, prior to their elevation to the Supreme Court.
Now the judges strength, with the sowrn-in of these two judges — Justices Kumar and Bindal — in the Supreme Court touched 34 for the first time during fhe tenure of CJI Dr Chandrachud.
The Centre had on February 10, Friday, Centre cleared the appointment of these two names as judges to the SC.
On January 31, the six-member Collegium headed by the CJI Dr Chandrachud made the unanimous resolution to approve name of Justice Bindal, who hailed from Punjab and Haryana High Court, and stood at number two in the combined all India seniority list of High Court judges, for appointment as Supreme Court judge.
The Collegium, also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, K M Joseph, M R Shah, Ajay Rastogi and Sanjiv Khanna, said while recommending the two names, they have considered seniority of Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges in their respective parent High Courts as well as overall seniority of the High Court Judges; and the merit, performance and integrity of the judges under consideration.
Justice Bindal was appointed as a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 22, 2006.
He was appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad on October 11, 2021.
He is the seniormost Judge hailing from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is one of the largest High Courts with a sanctioned strength of 85 judges.
“The Punjab and Haryana High Court is not adequately represented on the bench of the Supreme Court. This is a common High Court for two States,” the Supreme Court’s Collegium noted.
Justice Kumar was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court on June 26, 2009 and as permanent Judge on December 7, 2012. He was elevated as Chief Justice of the High Court of Gujarat on October 13, 2021. Justice Kumar stands at serial number 26 in the combined all-India-seniority of High Court Judges.
“While recommending his name, the Collegium is conscious of the fact that in the seniority of Judges hailing from the Karnataka High Court, Justice Kumar stands at serial number 02,” the Aupreme Court’s Collegium said.