THE Supreme Court Collegium, comprising the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and Rohinton Nariman, has recommended to the Union Law Minister the names of Justices Aniruddha Bose and A S Bopanna for elevation as judges of the Supreme Court.
The Collegium has also made it clear that the appointments have to be made in the following order-
- Justices Aniruddha Bose
- Justice A S Bopanna
Justice Bose is presently the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court and hails from the Calcutta High Court. Justice Bopanna is the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court and is originally from the Karnataka High Court.
The Collegium resolution says:
“While recommending the names of Mr. Justices Aniruddha Bose and A.S. Bopanna, the Collegium has taken into consideration, apart from their merit and integrity, combined seniority on all-India basis of Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts. The Collegium has also kept in mind the desirability of giving due representation on the Bench of the Supreme Court, as far as possible, to all the High Courts”.
Justice Aniruddha Bose was appointed as a Judge of the Calcutta High Court on January 19, 2004. He was elevated as Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court on August 11, 2018. He stands at Serial Number12 in the combined seniority of high court judges on an all- India basis.
Incidentally, before Justice Bose’s appointment as the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court, he was recommended as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. However, for reasons not in the public domain, the Union Law Ministry had sought a reconsideration of the Collegium’s recommendation regarding his appointment to Delhi.
Acceding to the request of the Central government, the Collegium rescinded its recommendation and transferred Justice Bose to Jharkhand as its Chief Justice on July 16, 2018.
Justice A.S. Bopanna was appointed as a Judge of the Karnataka High Court on January 6, 2006 and elevated as Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court on October 29, 2018. He stands at Serial Number 36 in the combined seniority of High Court Judges on all-an India basis.
Against the sanctioned strength of 31 Judges, the Supreme Court of India is presently functioning with 27 Judges, leaving four clear vacancies. With the recommendation of these two names, and if their appointment is cleared by the Centre, the strength of the Supreme Court will increase to 29 judges.