10 judges to retire this year
The Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam has recommended that the Chief Justices of the Madras and the Delhi High Courts, Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, be appointed as judges of the apex court.
Justice Ramana has a chance to become the Chief Justice of India in 2021. If that happens, he will be the second person from Andhra Pradesh to adorn the highest judicial office after over five decades. Earlier, Justice K. Subba Rao was the CJI from June 1966 to April 1967.
According to Law Ministry sources, the recommendations received would be processed and the appointments cleared in three to four weeks.
With their appointment, the Supreme Court will be full strength with 31 judges, although for a brief period as 10 judges are due to retire this year.
Justice H.L. Gokhale will retire in March, CJI Sathasivam and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra in April, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan in May, Justices A.K. Patnaik and S.S. Nijjar in June, Justices B.S. Chauhan and C.S. Prasad in July, Justice R.M. Lodha (who will be CJI for five months) in September and Justice Ranjana Desai in October.
Justice Agrawal, 60, will have a tenure of about five years. He will be the second judge to represent the Allahabad High Court along with Justice Chauhan till July. He was made active Chief Justice of the Madras High Court in February last year and appointed as regular Chief Justice in October.
Following Justice Agrawal’s elevation to the Supreme Court, the list of 12 names recommended for appointment as judges of the Madras High Court is likely to be returned to enable the new Chief Justice to be appointed to have a say in the selection process.
Justice Ramana, 56, will have a tenure of about nine years. He was born in an agricultural family on August 27, 1957 in Ponnavaram village, Krishna district.
He was appointed as a permanent judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in June 2000 and became the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court in September last.