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Chief Justice of India  recommended the names of five high court judges for appointment as Supreme Court judges

A Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud on Tuesday recommended the names of five high court judges for appointment as Supreme Court judges. The five judges recommended for appointment as Supreme Court judges include Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court Justice Pankaj Mithal, Chief Justice of Patna High Court, Justice Sanjay Karol, Chief Justice of Manipur High Court, Justice PV Sanjay Kumar, Patna High Court Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Allahabad High Court Judge Justice Manoj Misra.

The appointment of Justice Dipankar Datta as a Supreme Court judge on Monday re-energized the collegium to make more recommendations for the apex court, after the government’s apparent retreat from its antagonistic stance on the judicial selection mechanism. The Supreme Court collegium has decided not to make any fresh recommendations to the government on the appointment of high court judges until Justice Datta’s name is signed, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

 On Tuesday, the six-member bench met for the first time after the Center approved Justice Datta for elevation as a Supreme Court judge to discuss names to fill the vacancies in the apex court. Justice SA Nazeer, the second senior most judge who is part of the collegium for judges of the Supreme Court as well as the Supreme Court, is retiring on January 4, hence the effort was to make some recommendations before his retirement.

Supreme Court’s strength will increase to 33

If the Center approves the latest recommendation, the Supreme Court’s strength will increase to 33. Justice Datta’s name was recommended by a collegium headed by the then CJI Uday Umesh Lalit on 26 September. The government’s announcement of his appointment came only on December 11. The gap between recommendation and appointment saw Justice Chandrachud take the helm as CJI on November 9, coinciding with Law Minister Kiren Rijiju’s relentless attack on the collegium system.

When Justice Chandrachud took over the bench, the Supreme Court was short of seven of its 34 judges and his predecessor CJI Lalit had resigned after failing to push for more names. CJI Lalit, who had a short tenure of 74 days, wanted the collegium to recommend four names to the Supreme Court but could not get his fellow judges to agree on the procedural aspect of the proceedings.

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