As per orders of the Chief Justice of India, two new court rooms have been created in the Supreme Court, to accommodate four new Supreme Court judges, who have been elevated from various High Courts. A circular issued by the Supreme Court today informed of court room no.s 16 and 17 being ready and located adjacent to court room no. 10.
The Supreme Court currently has 15 court rooms.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Law and Justice notified that President Ram Nath Kovind had approved the collegium's recommendations and the four new judges had thus been appointed. With these appointments, the total strength of judges in the Supreme Court will be at an all-time high of 34. The four new judges, in order of combined seniority of High Court judges across India, are:
· Justice Krishna Murari, Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court
· Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court
· Justice V Ramasubramanian, Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court
· Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Chief Justice of Kerala High Court.
Soon after being sworn in as the 46th Chief Justice of India, on October 3, 2018, Justice Ranjan Gogoi had stated that the problem of pendency of cases would be dealt with as a priority. Citing the problem of pendency, and a paucity of judges to deal with the same, the CJI had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July seeking an increase in the sanctioned number of judges in the top court. In his letter, he cited the Law Ministry's reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on July 11, 2019 that a total of 59,331 cases were pending in the apex court. Days after this letter, the Parliament passed a Bill to that effect. The total sanctioned strength of judges in the apex court was increased from 31 (30+CJI) to 34 (33+CJI) on August 9, 2019 when the President gave his assent to the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 2019.
On August 28, the Supreme Court collegium comprising of CJI Gogoi along with Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, Arun Mishra and Rohinton F Nariman had recommended the names of these four judges after finding them to be the most "desirable and suitable". They are likely to be sworn in as Supreme Court judges on Monday, September 23, 2019. The Supreme Court will then function at its new full strength till November 17, when the next vacancy will arise out of incumbent CJI, Ranjan Gogoi's retirement.