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19 More Supreme Court Judges To Be Inducted In CJI DY Chandrachud’s 2 Year Tenure

At least 19 new Supreme Court justices will be appointed during Justice D Y Chandrachud’s two-year term as Chief Justice of India, which is five more than the number of judges appointed to the high court during his father Y V Chandrachud’s record-breaking seven years and five months in office.

The SC, whose authorised strength is 34 judges, including the CJI, has seven vacancies that need to be filled right away by the collegium chaired by CJI Chandrachud.

The first of these openings will result from Justice S. Abdul Nazeer’s retirement on January 4, 2023. Five more SC judges will retire in May and June of the following year: Justices D Maheshwari, M R Shah, K M Joseph, A Rastogi, and V Ramasubramanian. Justice S R Bhat will reach retirement age in October, while Justice Krishna Murari will do so in July of the following year.

After then, in December 2023, Justice S K Kaul will step down. Justice A Bose would retire in April 2024, followed by Justices A S Bopanna, Hima Kohli, and others in May and September of that same year. The current term of CJI Chandrachud ends on November 10, 2024.

The collegium led by CJI Chandrachud would then nominate 19 judges, or 56%, of the total sanctioned strength of 34 judges, including the CJI.

Dipankar Datta will be sworn in by CJI Chandrachud even if the previous collegium’s September 26 recommendation to designate him as a SC judge is successful.

From February 22, 1978, to July 11, 1985, when his father Y V Chandrachud served as Chief Justice of India, SC judges were appointed by the Union government after consultation with the CJI. The SC’s two constitution bench rulings from 1998, which removed the Executive’s ability to choose judges, lay the groundwork for the collegium system and institutionalised it. The 14 judges chosen by Sr. Chandrachud represented 78% of the total number of SC judges, which was 18 between 1977 and 1985.

Three of the 14 individuals appointed during Senior Chandrachud’s tenure as Chief Justice of India went on to lead the judiciary: Justices Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Ranganath Misra, and E S Venkataramiah (the father of Justice B V Nagarathna, who would become the first woman Chief Justice of India in September 2027 for 37 days) (who became CJI due to the untimely death of CJI Mukherjee in 1990).

Only 15 judges were appointed to the SC, of whom four went on to become CJIs: Justices P Sathasivam, R M Lodha, H L Dattu, and T S Thakur. This was true even during the three years and four months that Justice K G Balakrishnan served as CJI, the first Dalit to lead the judiciary. Those appointed during CJI Balakrishnan’s tenure made up 48% of the total strength of the SC, which had a sanctioned strength of 31 at the time.

The CJI succession plan is currently known through 2030. In November 2024, Justice Sanjiv Khanna will take over as Chief Justice of the Interior, and then come Justices B R Gavai, Surya Kant, Vikram Nath, Nagarathna, P S Narasimha, and J B Pardiwala. On August 11, 2030, Justice Pardiwala would leave the bench after serving for two years and three months.

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