New Delhi: A week after five judges were appointed to the Supreme Court, the centre today elevated two more High Court judges to the top court, taking it to its full strength of 34 judges. Justice Rajesh Bindal, currently Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, and Justice Aravind Kumar, Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, will be appointed as judges of the Supreme Court.
“As per the provisions under the Constitution of India, Hon’ble President of India has appointed the following Chief Justices of High Courts as Judges of the Supreme Court. My best to them: Rajesh Bindal, Chief Justice, Allahabad HC and Aravind Kumar, Chief Justice, Gujarat HC,” Law Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted.
Their names were recommended by the Supreme Court collegium on January 31.
The collegium, headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, on December 13 last year had recommended five names for elevation to the top court, but they were cleared by the centre nearly two months later, amid a protracted tussle between the executive and the judiciary over the process of appointments.
Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal, Patna High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Karol, Manipur High Court Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar, Patna High Court judge Ahsanuddin Amanullah, and Allahabad High Court judge Manoj Misra took oath as Supreme Court judges earlier this week.
The collegium system, where a group of senior-most judges recommend names for elevation to the higher judiciary, has become a major flashpoint between the Supreme Court and the centre. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has repeatedly spoken against the system, while the court has pushed back with similar force, turning the issue into a heated war of words.