Overview of the News:
President has appointed Telangana Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Kerala Chief Justice S. Venkatanarayana Bhatti as judges of the Supreme Court. The recommendations for their appointments were made by the Supreme Court Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.
Increase in Judicial Strength:
With the recent appointments, the total number of judges in the Supreme Court has reached 33, leaving only one vacancy. Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, who had been serving as Chief Justice of Telangana since June 28, 2022, was previously a judge of the Gauhati High Court. Chief Justice S. Venkatanarayana Bhatti, on the other hand, has been serving as Chief Justice of Kerala since June 1, 2023, after previously being a judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
Reasoning Behind the Appointments:
The Supreme Court Collegium recommended the appointment of Justice Bhatti as the High Court of Andhra Pradesh lacked representation in the Supreme Court since August 2022. The Collegium praised Justice Bhatti’s legal acumen and competence in dealing with various branches of law.
Experience of the Justices:
Justice Bhatti, the senior-most judge in his parent High Court, was transferred to the Kerala High Court in March 2019 and assumed the position of Chief Justice on June 1, 2023. Chief Justice Bhuyan, currently serving as Chief Justice of Telangana, was appointed as a judge of the Gauhati High Court on October 17, 2011.
Understanding the Collegium System:
The Collegium System, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), plays a crucial role in the appointment and transfer of judges. It has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court and is not governed by an Act of Parliament or a provision of the Constitution. The Collegium consists of the CJI and four other senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, while each High Court has its own collegium led by the Chief Justice and two other senior-most judges.
The recent appointments of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Chief Justice S. Venkatanarayana Bhatti as judges of the Supreme Court further strengthen the judiciary. These appointments, based on recommendations from the Supreme Court Collegium, showcase the significance of the collegium system in judicial appointments. The newly appointed judges bring their experience and legal expertise to the Supreme Court, contributing to the effective functioning of the judiciary in India.
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Supreme Court Judges – FAQs
Q1: How has the Collegium System evolved?
Ans: The Collegium System is not governed by an Act of Parliament or a provision of the Constitution but has developed as a result of Supreme Court rulings. It has been validated by rulings of the courts.
Q2: What is the role of the Collegium System in judicial appointments?
Ans: The Collegium System is essential in the selection and promotion of judges. The collegium method is used to nominate judges in the higher judiciary, and when the collegium selects the candidates, the government gets involved.
Q3: What is the experience of the appointed justices?
Ans: Since June 28, 2022, Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan has presided as Telangana’s chief justice. Previously, he was a member of the Gauhati High Court. Since June 1, 2023, Chief Justice S. Venkatanarayana Bhatti has presided as Kerala’s chief justice. Previously, he was a member of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.