How Regionally Representative Is Supreme Court? Delhi, UP Leads The List, North-Eastern States Barring Assam Unrepresented

Update: 2023-02-08 04:33 GMT

Amidst the protracted power struggle between the centre and the Supreme Court over judicial appointments, last week, the government notified the elevation to the top court, of five chief justices and puisne judges of high courts, whose names had been cleared by the collegium in December. On Monday, Justices Pankaj Mithal, Sanjay Karol, P.V. Sanjay Kumar, Ahsanuddin Amanullah, and Manoj Misra took oath as judges of the apex court. We take a look at how well the states and union territories of India are represented in the highest court of the land.

DelhiJustices SK Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, Sanjiv Khanna & Hima Kohli
Uttar PradeshJustices Krishna Murari, Vikram Nath, Pankaj Mithal and Manoj Misra
GujaratJustices MR Shah, Bela Trivedi and JB Pardiwala
MaharashtraChief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justices BR Gavai and Abhay S Oka
KarnatakaJustices AS Bopanna and BV Nagarathna 
KeralaJustices KM Joseph and CT Ravikumar
RajasthanJustices Dinesh Maheshwari and Ajay Rastogi
Tamil NaduJustices V Ramasubramanian and MM Sundresh
West BengalJustice Aniruddha Bose &Justice Dipankar Datta
Andhra PradeshJustice PS Narasimha
AssamJustice Hrishikesh Roy
BiharJustice Ahsanuddin Amanullah
HaryanaJustice Surya Kant
Himachal PradeshJustice Sanjay Karol
Madhya PradeshJustice JK Maheshwari
TelanganaJustice PV Sanjay Kumar
UttarakhandJustice Sudhanshu Dhulia

With the latest appointments, the working strength of the Supreme Court has increased from 27 to 32, against a sanctioned strength of 34 judges. However, at the time of the Constitution coming into force, the Supreme Court, which was envisaged to be the successor of the Federal Court but with wider powers, had only eight judges. It was left to the Parliament to increase this number. Speaking at the first foundation day celebration organised by the top court, Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, on Saturday, took the audience on a stroll down memory lane. “The court's workload during the initial years was a fraction of what we witnessed today. Justice B.P. Singh recounted that when he visited the Supreme Court for the first time in 1956, the proceedings were solemn and virtually dull. At a time, only five to six lawyers would be present in the court hall. Over the years, the workload of the Supreme Court has increased and with it, the sanctioned strength of the court. Currently, it stands at 34 judges. In the early years, all the judges would sit together to hear the cases. But, as the number of cases increased, the court started sitting in smaller benches of two and three judges.”

The number of judges was increased by the Parliament from eight to 11 in 1956, 14 in 1960, 18 in 1978, 26 in 1986, 31 in 2009, and finally, to 34 in 2019. Currently, the Supreme Court comprises the chief justice and 31 puisne judges, with the two remaining seats likely to be filled in the coming days if the centre accepts the collegium’s January 31 proposal to appoint the chief justices of the Allahabad and Gujarat High Courts, Justices Rajesh Bindal and Aravind Kumar, respectively, as Supreme Court judges.


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