Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud on Monday administered the oath of office to five new judges of the Supreme Court at a swearing-in ceremony held in the top court’s premises. The development comes amid a tiff between Centre and the judiciary over the process of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and the 25 high courts.
A Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud had on December 13 recommended the appointment of Justice Pankaj Mithal (Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court), Justice Sanjay Karol (Chief Justice of Patna High Court), Justice P V Sanjay Kumar (Chief Justice of Manipur High Court), Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah (Judge, Patna High Court) and Justice Manoj Misra (Judge, Allahabad High Court).
With the new appointments, the working strength of the top court has risen to 32, two short of the full strength.
Union Law minister Kiren Rijiju also tweeted about the appointments and extended his best wishes.
Here are the five judges elevated to the Supreme Court:
Justice Pankaj Mittal
Justice Pankaj Mithal took oath as Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court on October 14 last year. He was administered the oath by President Droupadi Murmu. Born in 1961, he completed his graduation in 1892 from Allahabad University, and did his post-graduation in law from Meerut College in 1985. He started practising law in the Allahabad High Court in 1985, and served as the Chief Justice of Common High Court for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh for over a year before joining the Rajasthan High Court.
Justice Manoj Misra
Justice Maoj Misra graduated from Allahabad University in 1988 and became an advocate on December 12, 1988. He was elevated as Additional Judge on November 21, 2011, after practising in civil, revenue, criminal and constitutional sides of the Allahabad High Court. He took oath as a permanent judge on August 6, 2013 after being administered oath by then-President Pratibha Patil. He has been with the Allahabad High Court since then.
Justice Sanjay Kumar
Justice PV Sanjay Kumar assumed office as Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court on February 14, 2021. Born in 1963, Kumar earned a law degree from Delhi Uuniversity in 1988, following which he was attached to the office of his father P. Ramachandra Reddy — former Advocate General of Andhra Pradesh. After his father’s retirement, he started practising independently.
He assumed charge as Permanent Judge of High Court of Andhra Pradesh on 20th January, 2010 and was transferred as a Judge of High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh in October, 2019. He took oath as the Chief Justice of High Court of Manipur on February 14, 2021, according to the Manipur High Court website.
Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah
Born on May 11, 1963, Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah was enrolled with the Bihar State Bar Council on September 27, 1991. He has always practised at the Patna High Court, and was elevated as a Judge of the Patna High Court on June 20, 2011, and then transferred to Andhra Pradesh High Court on October 10, 2021. On June 20 last year, he was re-transferred to Patna High Court.
He is currently the patron-in-chief of Bihar State Legal Services Authority, patron-in-chief of Bihar Judicial Academy and the chancellor of Chanakya National Law University, Patna.
Justice Sanjay Karol
Hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, Justice Sanjay Karol was born in 1961. He obtained his law degree from Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla. He became an advocate in 1986. Before taking oath as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court on November 11, 2019, Justice Karol practised in several courts, as Chief Justice of High Court of Tripura and Acting Chief Justice of High Court of Himachal Pradesh, among others.
Justice Karol is also currently serving as the Chancellor of Patna’s Chanakya National Law University and Patron-in-Chief at Bihar State Legal Services Authority and Bihar Judicial Academy, according to the Patna High Court website.