The Supreme Court of India today got two new judges as Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, the chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, and senior lawyer Kalpathy Venkataraman Viswanathan, were administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India DY Chadrachud on Friday.
The Supreme Court has regained its full strength of 34 judges, including the CJI, for a brief period as three judges — Justice KM Joseph, Justice Ajay Rastogi, and Justice V Ramasubramanian — are demitting office during the summer vacation itself.
With the retirements of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice MR Shah, the current strength of judges in the Supreme Court had fallen to 32 as against the sanctioned strength of 34.
The warrant of appointment of Justice Mishra and Viswanathan as judges of the top court was issued from the office of President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday and the appointments were announced by new Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Twitter.
Justice Viswanathan will become the Chief Justice of India upon the retirement of Justice JB Pardiwala on August 11, 2030, and remain in the post till May 25, 2031.
The swearing-in ceremony was streamed live on the Supreme Court’s website.
The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended their appointment on May 16.
The collegium headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and comprising Justices SK Kaul, KM Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, and Sanjiv Khanna considered that there was only one member from the bar directly appointed to the Supreme Court bench while making the recommendation.
“In their considered opinion, Mr KV Viswanathan, Senior Advocate is eminently suitable for being appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court,” the resolution read.