On Thursday, Justices Augustine George Masih, Satish Chandra Sharma, and Sandeep Mehta took their oaths as Supreme Court justices. Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud administered the oath to them today at 4.15 p.m. in the Supreme Court’s Additional Complex.
The 5-member Supreme Court collegium chaired by the CJI proposed their names for elevation on November 6, and the Central Government quickly cleared the recommendations, with their appointments being officially confirmed today.
With the latest appointments, the Supreme Court has returned to its full complement of 34 judges. Justices Sharma, Masih, and Mehta were Chief Justices of the High Courts of Delhi, Rajasthan, and Gauhati before being elevated to the Supreme Court. Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, and Rajasthan are the parent High Courts of Justices Satish Chandra Sharma, Augustine George Masih, and Sandeep Mehta, respectively.
The Supreme Court will be restored to its full complement of 34 judges with their appointment. There are now 31 judges on the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice and 30 puisne justices. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul is slated to retire in December.
Justice Satish Chandra Sharma
The collegium recommended Justice Sharma’s nomination since he was the second-most senior judge in the country and the most senior from the Madhya Pradesh High Court, his parent high court. His nomination, among other things, would increase Madhya Pradesh High Court representation, which now has only one judge from the state.
Justice Augustine George Masih
The collegium recommended Justice Masih’s selection because he was seventh in overall seniority but first in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is the parent high court of two other justices on the Supreme Court bench. The collegium also evaluated Justice Masih’s status as a member of a minority group.
Justice Sandeep Mehta
Finally, the collegium resolution states that Justice Mehta ranks twenty-third in terms of total seniority, but is the most senior of the Rajasthan High Court judges. The Rajasthan High Court is still unrepresented on the Supreme Court bench following the retirement of Justice Ajay Rastogi in June. ” Aside from according to representation to the State of Rajasthan, the selection of Justice Mehta will provide a value addition by virtue of his gained knowledge and experience,” the language of the ruling adds.