Oath taking ceremony: Supreme Court, New Delhi, a record nine Supreme Court justices are sworn in.
Tuesday marked the first time in the history of the Supreme Court that nine new judges, including three women, took the oath of office in their new positions. On this day, the Supreme Court swore in the largest number of judges ever. With the recent appointments, the Supreme Court’s operating strength has increased to 33 judges, compared to the sanctioned strength of 34. On an occasion held in the auditorium of the court’s new annex building in the morning, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana administered the oath of office to the new justices. Justice B V Nagarathna, a former Karnataka High Court judge who is set to become India’s first female Chief Justice in 2027, was among those sworn in.
The oath-taking ceremony was aired nationally, giving the general public access to the ritual, which is usually held in the Chief Justice of India’s Court Room 1. Another first will be the addition of up to four female judges to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court already has Justice Indira Banerjee, in addition to the three who were sworn in on Tuesday.
Sworn in names include Former Telangana High Court Chief Justice Hima Kohli; former Karnataka High Court Chief Justice A S Oka; former Sikkim High Court Chief Justice J K Maheshwari; former Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Vikram Nath; Justice Nagarathna; former Gujarat High Court judge Justice Bela M Trivedi; former Kerala High Court judge Justice C T Ravikumar; former Madras High Court judge Justice C T Ravikumar; former Madras High Court judge.
Faced with a judge shortfall, the Supreme Court Collegium, led by Chief Justice of India Ramana, met on August 17 and approved all of the names on the same day. The Collegium, which also included Justices U U Lalit, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud, and L Nageswara Rao, met a long-standing desire for more women judges in the court by recommending three names.
In a break from the customary judicial appointment delays, the administration cleared all of the names submitted by the Collegium in a short period of time and forwarded them to the President for the issue of warrants of appointment. Justice Narasimha is also set to succeed Justice Nagarathna as Chief Justice of India in 2027, making him only the third lawyer directly elevated to the top court to hold the position. Justice S M Sikri was the first, and Justice U U Lalit, who would succeed CJI Ramana next year, was the second.