Centre clears the appointment of two judges to the Supreme Court 

The government’s clearance of their names is one of the quickest in recent history

Published - May 19, 2023 12:38 am IST - New Delhi

Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra. File

Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on May 19 will swear in two new apex court judges, Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and K.V. Viswanathan, who is a direct appointment from the Supreme Court Bar.

Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal tweeted their appointments late on May 18. Within minutes, the Supreme Court announced the swearing-in ceremony on May 19, which is the last working day before the court goes into summer recess. The official notifications of their appointments were published in the next half hour.

The government’s clearance of their names is one of the quickest in recent history. It also coincides with Mr. Meghwal’s first day in office as Law Minister.

The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the names of Justice Mishra and senior advocate (as he was then) Mr. Viswanathan to the government for appointment as Supreme Court judges only on May 16. Hardly 48 hours have passed before the government’s green signal.

Mr. Viswanathan would be in line to be the 58th Chief Justice of India in August 2030, succeeding Justice J.B. Pardiwala as top judge. He is also only the ninth lawyer to be elevated directly to the Supreme Court Bench. Mr. Viswanathan is also the fourth direct appointee from the Bar who would become CJI.

Justice Mishra was the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court before his appointment to the Supreme Court. With his appointment, the State of Chhattisgarh would win a representation on the Supreme Court Bench.

The two appointments replace Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and M.R. Shah, both of whom had retired recently. Justices K.M. Joseph and Ajay Rastogi, both members of the present collegium, are set to retire along with Justice V. Ramasubramanian in June during the summer holidays.

Justice S. Ravindra Bhat retires in October. Justice S.K. Kaul, the judge number two of the Supreme Court, retires in December this year.

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