JUSTICE Rohinton F. Nariman has been inducted into the Supreme Court Collegium following the retirement of Justice AK Sikri on March 6, 2019. Justice Nariman is fifth in seniority and joins Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana and Arun Mishra, the four senior-most judges in the Collegium.
Justice Nariman was elevated directly from the Bar on September 7, 2014. His tenure lasts till August 12, 2021 as judge of the Supreme Court. In the Collegium, he will have a tenure of two years, from March 7, 2019 to August 12, 2021.
He is the third judge in the history of the Supreme Court, after Justices Kuldeep Singh and Santosh Hedge, to be elevated directly from the Bar and to be a member of the Collegium.
The Collegium system for recommending to the government the names for the appointment of judges to the High Court, the Supreme Court as well as for the transfer of judges, was brought into existence by the Supreme Court through a judicial order in 1993.
At present, Supreme Court has three vacancies against the sanctioned strength of 31 judges that includes the CJI as well. The newly reconstituted Collegium will now have the task of recommending the names of judges for elevation to the Apex Court.
Justice Nariman has decided several notable cases. He was part of the majority decision that declared instant Triple Talaq unconstitutional for being manifestly arbitrary. He was also part of the nine-judge Constitution bench which declared ‘privacy’ a fundamental right, the five-judge Constitution bench presided over by the then CJI Dipak Misra which read down Section 377 (LGBTQ case) of the IPC, struck down the Section 497 of the IPC (adultery case) and the Sabarimala case in which the Supreme Court by a majority struck down the rule prohibiting the entry of women of menstruating age into the temple.
Justice Nariman was also the part of landmark judgment Indira Jaising v. Supreme Court of India in which the Court introduced a 100 Points Index system for selecting senior advocates.
A bench presided by him recently held Reliance Communications and its Chairperson Anil Ambani and two Directors of the company guilty of contempt of court on a contempt petition filed by Ericsson, for the failure of Reliance Communication to pay them their dues of Rs.550 crore.
Justice Nariman is also a part of the special bench which is monitoring the NRC Assam case.