Among the four named by the Supreme Court collegium to be to be appointed judges are Adarsh Goel and Arun Mishra, Chief Justices of the Orissa and the Calcutta High Courts, respectively. The recommendations to appoint them and the former Solicitors-General Rohinton Nariman and Gopal Subramanium are likely to be processed by the new government, which will assume office later this month.
It is after nine years that a lawyer is being appointed a Supreme Court judge. The first to be appointed judge from the Bar was Justice S.M. Sikri in 1963. He became CJI in January 1971 and retired in April 1973.
In 1988, Justice Kuldip Singh was appointed directly from the Bar and he retired in December 1996. In January 1999, Santosh Hegde was appointed judge and he retired in June 2005.
Justice Goel, 60, who hails from Haryana, was elevated as judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on July 2, 2001 and he became its acting Chief Justice in May 2011, when he was transferred to the Gauhati High Court and made its Chief Justice in December 2011. He was shifted to the Orissa High Court in October 2013. The first judge to represent Haryana in the apex court, he will have a tenure of a little over five years.
Justice Arun Mishra, 58, who hails from Madhya Pradesh, was appointed judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in October 1999. He was transferred to the Rajasthan High Court in September 2010 and became its acting Chief Justice in November 1 and Chief Justice on November 26 that year. He was later transferred as Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court in December 2012.
He will represent Madhya Pradesh in the apex court, after Justice Deepak Verma, who retired in August 2012. He will have a seven-year tenure.
Rohinton Nariman, 58, from Maharashtra, who represents the Parsi community, is known for plain-speaking both inside and outside the court.
He was designated a senior advocate at the age of 37 in 1993 when the then CJI, M.N. Venkatachaliah, amended the rules for designating a lawyer as a senior advocate by reducing the minimum age limit of 45. He was appointed Solicitor-General in July 2011 after his predecessor, Mr. Gopal Subramanium, resigned. Now, Mr. Nariman will have a tenure of about seven years as Supreme Court judge.
Mr. Gopal Subramanium, 56, who has his roots in Tamil Nadu, served as counsel for the Justice Verma Inquiry Commission, which looked into security lapses leading to the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
He was also part of the Justice Wadhwa Inquiry Commission that probed the killing of Australian missionary Graham Staines in Odisha and was counsel for the Justice K. Venkataswami Inquiry Commission that probed the Tehelka tapes exposing corruption.
He was appointed amicus curiae in important matters including petrol pump allotments and the Padmanabhaswamy temple case. He will have a tenure of over nine years in the Supreme Court.