Creating history in India’s judicial system, in a first, nine new Supreme Court judges, including three female judges administered their oaths of office by Chief Justice NV Ramana on Tuesday.
The ceremony was held in the auditorium of the Top Court’s additional building complex; traditionally it is administered in the chief justice’s courtroom.
The new judges include Justice Abhay Oka (former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court), Justice Vikram Nath (former Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court), Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari (former Chief Justice of Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh High Courts), and Justice Hima Kohli (former Chief Justice of Telangana High Court).
The other new judges are Justice CT Ravikumar (former Kerala High Court judge), Justice MM Sundresh (former Madras High Court judge), Justice Bela M Trivedi (former Gujarat High Court judge) and Justice PS Narasimha (senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General).
Meanwhile, the appointment of Justice Nagarathna, Justice Kohli, and Justice Trivedi is a stepping stone in the history of the Indian judiciary as very few women have been sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court since its inception.
Over the last seven decades, only eight have been named, starting with M Fathima Beevi in 1989.
At present, Justice Indira Banerjee is the lone woman judge; she was elevated August 7, 2018, from the Madras High Court where she was serving as the Chief Justice.
With the addition of these nine judges, the strength of the Supreme Court stands at 33, including the Chief Justice, out of a sanctioned strength of 34.