The Supreme Court will very soon have a woman judge, after more than three years.
The Supreme Court collegium, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, has recommended the elevation of Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court Gyan Sudha Misra as a Supreme Court judge.
Justice Misra will be the fourth woman judge of the Supreme Court, after Fatima Beevi, Sujata Manohar, and Ruma Paul, who retired in June 2006.
The collegium has also recommended the elevation of Madras High Court Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale as a Supreme Court judge.
The collegium took these decisions at a meeting on Tuesday.
With these elevations, the strength of judges will go up to 29, as against the sanctioned strength of 31.
President Pratibha Patil had raised questions whether seniority was being overlooked in the appointment of some judges, when Justice C.K. Prasad was elevated to the Supreme Court. She had also suggested the appointment of a woman judge.
Highly placed sources said the collegium had considered the President's suggestions and decided to adhere to seniority in appointment.
While Justice Misra, who hails from Bihar, is the senior-most among women judges, Justice Gokhale, who hails from Maharashtra, is the senior-most among male judges.
The recommendations will now be processed by the Union Law Ministry before they are referred to the Prime Minister's Office. The file will then be sent to the President.