Justices Ujjal Bhuyan, S Venkatanarayana Bhatti sworn in as Supreme Court judges

Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and S Venkatanarayana Bhatti were sworn in as judges of the Supreme Court on Friday, taking the top court’s working strength to 32.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud administered the oath of office to them at a ceremony organised in the auditorium in the SC annexe Friday morning.

The Supreme Court has a sanctioned strength of 34 judges and was functioning with 30 judges, leaving it with four vacancies. To fill this up, the collegium headed by CJI Chandrachud deliberated on and discussed the names of Chief Justices and senior puisne judges of the high courts eligible for appointment to the Supreme Court. The other members of the collegium are Justices S K Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai and Surya Kant.

The July 5 collegium resolution recommending the names of Justices Bhuyan and Bhatti said “after carefully evaluating the merit, integrity and competence of eligible Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of the High Courts and also accommodating a plurality of considerations, the Collegium” found Justices Bhuyan and Bhatti “to be deserving and suitable in all respects for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court of India”.

On July 12, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal tweeted that the President had appointed them as Supreme Court judges.

Justice Bhuyan was appointed as a judge of the Gauhati High Court on October 17, 2011. He is the seniormost judge of his parent high court and was serving as Telangana HC Chief Justice since June 28, 2022. The collegium said that “his judgments cover wide ranging issues pertaining to law and justice” and that he is a judge with “a good reputation for integrity and competence”.

Justice Bhatti was appointed as a judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on April 12, 2013, and is the seniormost in his parent high court. He was transferred to the Kerala High Court in March 2019 and was serving as Chief Justice there since June 1, 2023.

The collegium noted that the Andhra Pradesh High Court does not have any representation on the bench of the Supreme Court since August 2022 and his appointment “apart from according representation to the State of Andhra Pradesh…will provide a value addition in terms of his acquired knowledge and experience. He commands a good reputation and possesses integrity and competence”.

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