A three-member collegium headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana has recommended as many as 68 names in one go for appointment as Judges in 12 high courts, including in Allahabad, Rajasthan and Calcutta, that are facing a severe crunch of judges. For the first time, it has recommended Marli Vankun, the first woman judicial officer from Mizoram, for judgeship in the Gauhati High Court. Marli Vankun is a member of the Scheduled Tribe community.

This is an unprecedented move wherein the Apex Court has made recommendations of such a huge number of Judges, both from judicial service and bar. The top court has recommended 16 names for the Allahabad High Court which is facing severe crunch of the judges and its strength will go up to 109 from existing 93 against the approved strength of 160 judges, if the names will be cleared by the Center. Over 1.8 lakh criminal appeals are pending adjudication in the Allahabad High Court.

"Besides Vankun, nine other women candidates have been recommended for judgeship in various high courts. Among those 68 cleared for twelve High Courts, 44 are from the Bar and 24 are from the judicial service," sources told PTI. The collegiums, in its meetings held on August 25 and September 1, considered as many as 112 candidates for elevation as Judges in High Courts.

Sixty-eight Judges, if cleared by the Centre, will be appointed in High Courts at Allahabad, Rajasthan, Calcutta, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Madras, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Assam. These names have been recommended close on the heels of the collegium recommending seven names for the Telangana High Court on August 17 this year.

In a historic decision on August 17, the five-member collegium headed by the CJI had recommended nine names for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court, including three women. The names were cleared with significant pace by the Centre leading to a historic swearing-in ceremony on August 31 when the new judges were administered oath of office as Apex Court Judges.

They included Justices Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, Vikram Nath, Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari, Hima Kohli and B V Nagarathna. Besides, the CJI also administered oath of office to Justices C T Ravikumar, MM Sundresh, Bela M Trivedi and P S Narasimha, who was a Senior Advocate and former Additional Solicitor General of India.

The Supreme Court collegium has resolved to reiterate its earlier recommendation for elevation of three judicial officers as Judges in the Allahabad High Court. If the recommended names are cleared by the Centre, the strength of Allahabad High Court will reach 109 judges in its two benches at Allahabad and Lucknow.

The three judicial officers whose names have been reiterated by the Collegium are Om Prakash Tripathi, Umesh Chandra Sharma, and Syed Waiz Mian. The Collegium, in a meeting held on August 24, cleared the proposal and the statement was uploaded on the Apex Court website on Friday evening. Besides them, the names of 13 lawyers have also been approved for appointment as judges of the Allahabad High Court.

The 13 lawyers are Chandra Kumar Rai, Shishir Jain, Krishan Pahal, Sameer Jain, Ashutosh Srivastava, Subhash Vidyarthi, Brij Raj Singh, Prakash Singh, Vikas Budhwar, Vikram D Chauhan, Rishad Murtaza, Dhruv Mathur and Vimlendu Tripathi.

With PTI inputs