The Collegium recommends two more names of Justice Rajesh Bindal, Chief Justice, Allahabad High Court and Justice Aravind Kumar, Chief Justice, Gujarat High Court for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court against the two remaining vacancies.
The Collegium comprises of Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, C.J., Sanjay Kishan Kaul, K.M. Joseph, M.R. Shah, Ajay Rastogi, Sanjiv Khanna, JJ.
Justice Rajesh Bindal, Chief Justice, Allahabad High Court
He was appointed as a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on 22-03-2006. He was appointed as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court on 11-10- 2021. He is the seniormost Judge hailing from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
While recommending his name, the Collegium has taken into consideration the fact that the Punjab and Haryana High Court which is one of the largest High Courts with a sanctioned strength of eighty-five judges is not adequately represented on the Bench of the Supreme Court.
Justice Aravind Kumar, Chief Justice, Gujarat High Court
He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court on 26-06-2009 and as permanent Judge on 07-12-2012. He was elevated as Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court on 13-10- 2021.
While recommending his name, the Collegium is conscious of the fact that in the seniority of Judges hailing from the Karnataka High Court, he stands at Sl. No.02 and at present, the Bench of the Supreme Court is represented by two Judges from the Karnataka High Court.
The Collegium has taken into consideration the following aspects while recommending the above names:
The seniority of Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges in their respective parent High Courts as well as overall seniority of the High Court Judges
The merit, performance and integrity of the judges under consideration.
The need to ensure diversity and inclusion in the Supreme Court by:
(i) Representation of High Courts which are not represented or are inadequately represented, in the Supreme Court;
(ii) Appointing persons from marginalized and backward segments of society;
(iii) Gender diversity; and
(iv) Representation of minorities.
Further, the Collegium said the names recommended earlier shall have precedence over the two names recommended presently for appointment to the Supreme Court. Therefore, the appointments of five judges recommended on 13—12-022 should be notified separately and earlier in point of time before the two judges recommended by this resolution.
Also, it said that the resolution of the Collegium regarding the appointment of Justice Rajesh Bindal is unanimous. However, regarding the appointment of Justice Aravind Kumar, Justice K M Joseph has expressed his reservations on the ground that his name can be considered at a later stage.
The Collegium said that the Supreme Court of India has a sanctioned strength of thirty-four Judges and is presently functioning with twenty-seven Judges. Thus, there are seven clear vacancies.
Further, it noted that on 13-12-2022, the Collegium recommended five names for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court, namely
Justice Pankaj Mithal
Justice Sanjay Karol
Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar
Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah
Justice Manoj Misra.
[Notification dated : 31-01-2023]