On 2nd November 2018, Justices MR Shah, Hemant Gupta, Ajay Rastogi and R. Subhash Reddy were sworn in as Judges of the Supreme Court of India. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi administered their oaths of office.
With new appointments, the strength of Supreme Court rises to 28, 3 short of the sanctioned strength of 31 judges. The current Justices Kurian Joseph and MB Lokur are due for retirement in November and December, which will bring down the strength to 26.
The 4 names were recommended by the Collegium headed by the Chief Justice. The Collegium is a group of the 5 senior most judges who recommend the names of judges for appointment to the higher judiciary (High Court and Supreme Court).
The Collegium currently comprises CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph, AK Sikri and SA Bobde. While recommending the recent appointees, it observed “ ..the collegium has also kept in mind, while recommending the above names that the High Courts of Punjab and Haryana, Gujarat and Rajasthan have remained unrepresented in the Supreme Court since long.”
Justice MR Shah - He was the Chief Justice of Patna High Court before being elevated to the Supreme Court. He enrolled to bar in 1982 and practiced in Gujarat High Court. He was appointed as an additional judge of Gujarat High Court in 2004. In August 2018, he was appointed as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court.
Justice Hemant Gupta - He was serving as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court from March 2017 till his elevation to the Supreme Court. He enrolled as an advocate in July 1980 and also served as Additional Advocate General in Punjab from 1997-1999. He was appointed as a Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court in July 2002 and as the Acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court in October 2016.
Justice Ajay Rastogi – He was the Chief Justice of Tripura High Court before his elevation to the Supreme Court. He practiced in Rajasthan High Court after is enrolment as an Advocate in 1982. He was appointed as a judge of Rajasthan High Court in 2004 and in March 2018, he took office as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court.
Jutice R. Subhash Redddy - He was serving as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court before his elevation. He enrolled to bar in 1980 and after 22 years of practice was elevated as an additional judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in December 2002. He became a permanent judge of High Court in 2004. In February 2016, he became Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court.