The Supreme Court collegium headed by CJI N V Ramana has recommended to the Centre the names of Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Gujarat High Court Judge Justice Jamshed B Pardiwala for elevation as judges in the Apex Court.
The recommendations, if accepted by the Centre, would ensure that the Apex Court would regain its full strength of 34 judges and Justice Pardiwala would go on to become the CJI for over two years in the year 2028.
The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended elevation of the following Chief Justice/Judge of the High Courts, as Judges in the Supreme Court: 1. Mr. Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, Chief Justice, Gauhati High Court, (Parent High Court; Uttarakhand); and 2. Mr. Justice J B Pardiwala, Judge, Gujarat High Court, said the collegium's resolution posted on the Apex Court's website.
Besides the CJI, senior most judge Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and justices A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao are part of the collegium.
Justice Dhulia, who will be the second judge to be elevated from the Uttarakhand High Court, is the sibling of national award-winning film director and actor Tigmanshu Dhulia and would have a tenure of little over three years.
Justice Pardiwala will be the fourth judge from the Parsi community to adorn the Supreme Court's bench and the first high court judge from the minority community who has been elevated in the last five years after Justice S Abdul Nazeer.
Justice Nazeer was elevated to the Supreme Court in February 2017.
With the retirement of Justice R Subhash Reddy on January 4 this year, the total strength of Apex Court judges had come down to 32 against the sanctioned strength of 34 and now with the fresh recommendation, if acted upon, will ensure full strength in the Court.
Justice Dhulia, born on August 10, 1960, hails from Madanpur, a remote village lin Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, and joined the Bar at the Allahabad High Court in 1986.
Justice Pardiwala, born on August 12, started practising Law in the High Court of Gujarat in 1990.
The CJI, who himself will demit office on August 26 this year, has been successful in evolving consensus in the five-judge collegium to unanimously recommend a record number of 11 names so far, since August last year.
The Apex Court, which did not get a single judge after the superannuation of the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi on November 17, 2019, had nine existing vacancies when CJI Ramana had taken over and the High Courts had around 600 vacancies.
The collegium then ensured the filling up of nine vacancies in the Supreme Court in August last year in one go and Justice B V Nagarathna, one of three women judges, would become the first woman CJI.
Besides the collegium of the top three judges has recommended so far 180 names for appointment as judges of various High Courts.
The year 2022 is going to be the second year since the inception of the Apex Court in 1950 which will see three different CJIs in as many months.
The incumbent CJI, who will demit office on August 26, will be succeeded by Justice Lalit having a tenure of a little over two months. Justice Lalit's retirement in November will pave the way for Justice D Y Chandrachud to take over as head of the judiciary for a term of a little over two years.
With PTI inputs