NEW DELHI, May 19: Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and senior advocate Kalpathy Venkataraman Viswanathan were on Friday administered the oath of office as judges of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.
The new judges were administered the oath of office during a ceremony at the apex court’s auditorium.
With the swearing-in of Justice Mishra and Justice Viswanathan, the number of judges in the Supreme Court reached its sanctioned strength of 34.
However, the apex court will be at full strength only for a brief period as Friday is also the last working day of three judges who are set to retire in June.
Justice KM Joseph, Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice V Ramasubramanian are set to demit office next month during the summer vacation, which will run from May 22 to July 2.
Justice Joseph is set to retire on June 16, Justice Rastogi on June 17 and Justice Ramasubramanian on June 29. Justice Krishna Murari will demit office on July 8.
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 warrant of appointments of Justice Mishra and Justice Viswanathan as apex court judges was issued from the office of President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday.
Their appointments were announced by new Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Twitter.
With the retirements of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice MR Shah in the past seven days, the strength of judges in the Supreme Court had fallen to 32.
The collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India on May 16 recommended to the Centre the names of Justice Mishra and senior advocate Viswanathan as apex court judges.
The Centre cleared their appointments within two working days.
Justice Mishra was appointed as a judge of the High Court of Chhattisgarh on December 10, 2009. He was appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on October 13, 2021.
He has served as a high court judge for more than 13 years and ranks 21st in the all-India seniority list of judges of high courts.
Justice Viswanathan will become the 58th Chief Justice of India in August 2030 for a period of more than nine months.
Born on May 26, 1966, Justice Viswanathan will join an elite list of lawyers to reach the position of the Chief Justice of India after being directly elevated to the apex court bench from the Bar.
Justice SM Sikri was the first Chief Justice of India to be directly elevated to the apex court bench from the Bar. Justice UU Lalit was the second. Sitting apex court judge Justice PS Narasimha will become the third Chief Justice of India to be directly elevated from the Bar.
As a lawyer, Justice Viswanathan has appeared in a wide range of cases on diverse issues, including Constitutional, criminal, commercial and insolvency laws and arbitration.
During the recent hearings in the top court on a batch of pleas seeking legal validation for same-sex marriages, Justice Viswanathan had argued before a five-judge Constitution Bench for one of the petitioners. (PTI)
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