Thursday, 28 October 2021

Supreme court to get nine new judges

SC to get nine new judges

On Tuesday, N.V. Ramana, Chief Justice of India, read out the oath of allegiance to the Constitution to nine new judges of the Supreme Court, reducing the vacancies in the top court to just one.

The occasion was historic on several fronts. It was the first time as many as nine judges were swooning into the Supreme Court in a single stroke. Three of them were women judges. Justice B.V. Nagarathna is slating to be Chief Justice of India in 2027. Again, it was the first time the Supreme Court allowed a live telecast of the ceremony. Usually, cameras are not allowed to cover the swearing-in of judges to the Supreme Court as the event is holding in India’s courtroom of Chief Justice. This time, it will be held in an auditorium at the court’s new annex complex.

Here is a thumbnail sketch of the nine new Supreme Court judges:

Justice Abhay Shreeniwas

Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka took oath as the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court on 10 May 2019. He was born on 25 May 1960.

He graduated in science and completed his post-graduation in law from the University of Bombay. He began practice in the Thane District Court with his father, Shreeniwas W. Oka.

He mainly focussed on public interest litigations. He was raised to the Bench of Bombay High Court on 29 August 2003. As Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, Justice Oka led the Bench, which passed a slew of directions to improve and monitor COVID-19 management in the State. The Bench was instrumental in providing food, transport, and shelter to migrants during the pandemic.

Justice Vikram Nath

Justice Vikram Nath took oath as the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court on 10 September 2019.

He was born on 24 September 1962. He started legal practice on 30 March 1987.

He practiced at the Allahabad High Court. He was uplifting to the Allahabad High Court Bench on 24 September 2004. Justice Nath took the initiative to start live streaming of court proceedings in the Gujarat High Court.

Justice Nath’s Bench held that the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021, penal provisions would not apply against couples who enter into inter-religious marriages of their own free will. He has championed personal liberty in preventive detention cases. Justice Nath has highlighted the need for transparency in COVID-19 data.

Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari

Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari was the Chief Justice of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Sikkim before his appointment to the Supreme Court. He was born on 29 June 1961.

An Arts graduate, he completed his post-graduation in law from Jiwaji University in Gwalior. He has pursued a doctorate in the topic of medical malpractice in Madhya Pradesh.

He was enrolling as an advocate on 22 November 1985. He specialized in civil, constitutional, criminal, service tax cases.

He was uplifting to the Madhya Pradesh High Court in the 2005 year.

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Justice Hima Kohli

Justice Hima Kohli was Telangana Chief Justice of the High Court. Justice Kohli was declared as Supreme Court judge just two days before she was due to retire. Justice Kohli was uplifting to the Delhi High Court Bench in 2006 year. Born on 2 September 1959, in Delhi,

Justice Kohli graduated in History (Hons.) from St. Stephens College, University of Delhi. She is a product of the Law Faculty, Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi. She was enrolling as an advocate with the Bar Council of Delhi in 1984. As Chief Justice in Telangana, Justice Kohli played a vital role in ensuring that people were not denied medical treatment during the pandemic. She lashed out at the State for stopping the entry of COVID-19 patients from neighboring States.

Justice B.V. Nagarathna

Justice B.V. Nagarathna was judge, Karnataka High Court before she was appointed Supreme Court judge. Justice Nagarathna was born on 30 October 1962 to Justice E.S. Venkataramiah (a former Chief Justice of India) and Padma Venkataramiah.

She graduated from Jesus and Mary College, Delhi University, and completed her Law from Campus Law Center, New Delhi. Justice Nagarathna started practice in 1987 in KESVY and Co. under her seniors Barrister Vasudev Reddy and Senior Advocate, G.V. Shantharaju.

KESVY and Co. have the distinction of being the chamber of Justice E.S. Venkataramiah and Justice Rajendra Babu, both of whom retired as Chief Justices of India. She started her independent room in 1994 till her elevation as a judge in 2008. She has practiced in various areas such as arbitration, land acquisition; service law; family law; administrative law; constitutional law, commercial law, etc.,

In the Supreme Court, various High Courts, and trial courts. Justice Nagarathna was part of the COVID-19 Bench headed by Justice Oka. She is a vocal champion of women’s rights. She is slating to be the first woman Chief Justice of India in 2027.

Justice C.T. Ravikumar

Justice C.T. Ravikumar was a judge in the Kerala High Court before his elevation as Supreme Court judge. Justice Ravikumar’s journey to the top court has a humble origin. His father was a Bench clerk in Magistrate court. Justice Ravikumar got his Law degree from the Government Law College, Kozhikode in Kerala. He believes there are no shortcuts in the legal profession. Justice Ravikumar was uplifting to the Kerala High Court Bench in 2009. Justice Ravikumar famously said, “law is long but life is short” in the context of the need for speedy justice while splitting the trial in the SNC Lavalin case.

Justice M.M. Sundresh

Justice M.M. Sundresh was a judge of the Madras High Court before his elevation to the Supreme Court. Justice Suresh was born on 21 July 1962, in Erode district of Tamil Nadu. A graduate of Loyola College in Chennai, he completed his Law at Madras Law College. As a government advocate between 1991 to 1996, he was known for his precise presentation of cases on facts and law.

He was appointed as High Court judge of Madras in 2009. In his farewell speech, Justice Sundresh spoke on the importance of treating everyone equally with dignity and respect, from the Chief Justice to the employee at the very bottom of the ladder, saying all were part of the judicial system.

Justice Bela M. Trivedi

Justice Bela M. Trivedi is the first woman judge from Gujarat High Court to uplift the Supreme Court. Born in June 1960, Justice Trivedi is only one among the nine new judges who has worked as a Civil and Sessions Judge in the subordinate judiciary. Before her, another woman judge of the Supreme Court, Justice (now retired) R. Banumathi, had the same trial judge experience and confirmed the death penalty to the Nirbhaya convicts. Justice Trivedi was uplifting to the Bench of the Gujarat High Court in 2011. She was an Additional Judge in both Gujarat and Rajasthan High Courts. She had also served as Law Secretary to the Gujarat government. As High Court judge, Justice Trivedi had slammed the Gujarat government recently for taking cover behind the facade that implementation of COVID-19 measures was more challenging in a democracy.

Justice P.S. Narasimha

Justice P.S. Narasimha was a senior advocate before he was appointed judge of the Supreme Court. He is the ninth lawyer to be directly selected from the Supreme Court Bar.

Justice Narasimha was the Additional Solicitor General of India. He was appointed amicus curiae by the Supreme Court to resolve the long-pending disputes concerning the functioning of the BCCI. He had appeared in the Ayodhya title dispute.

He had argued in the ‘Jallikattu’ ban case and Mullaperiyar dam row between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He appeared before the Supreme Court on the validity of criminal defamation, presented arguments in the National Judicial Appointments Commission matter and the Italian Marines case, among others.

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