New Delhi: Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and the former additional solicitor general L. Nageswara Rao were sworn-in as judges of the Supreme Court on Friday. With this the apex court’s strength has increased to 29, with two slots still vacant. Justice Khanwilkar was the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur, Justice Chandrachud was the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court and Justice Bhushan was Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court.
Justice Chandrachud is the son of the former Chief Justice of India Y.V.Chandrachud who served from February 22, 1978 to July 11, 1985.
L. Nageshwara Rao, who hails from Andhra Pradesh served as additional solicitor general from August 2003 till he resigned in 2004 and then from August 2013 to May 2014 and from June 7 to December 15, 2014. He had appeared for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in a case of disproportionate assets in the apex court.
With the swearing in of Justice Khanwilkar and Justice Chandrachud – both from Maharashtra – the number of judges from the state has gone up to five.
The swearing in of the new justices took place after a gap of over a year. Justice Amitava Roy was the last judge to be sworn in on February 27, 2015 before the entire appointment process was put on hold on account of challenge to National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act and the constitutional amendment paving way for NJAC that was enacted to replace the collegium system of appointing judges.
The top court’s constitution bench had struck down both the constitutional amendment and the NJAC on October 16, 2015.