(Image: Supreme Court of India website)

Collegium Recommends Four Names For Elevation As Supreme Court Judges

The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to recommend to the Centre the names of four Chief Justices of high courts for elevation as judges of the apex court, sources said.

They said the collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and comprising four-senior most judges of the top court, met to deliberate upon the names of Justices Hemant Gupta, Ajay Rastogi, M R Shah and R Subhash Reddy for their elevation as apex court judges.

The collegium has decided to recommend these four names to the Centre for their elevation as judges of the apex court, the sources said.

Justice Gupta is currently the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, while Justice Rastogi is presently the Chief Justice of Tripura High Court.

Similarly, Justice Shah is the incumbent Chief Justice of the Patna High Court while Justice Reddy is the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court.

If the recommendation of the Collegium is cleared by the government, the strength of the Supreme Court would rise to 28.

The apex court has 24 judges, including the Chief Justice, while its sanctioned strength is 31.

This year, two judges -- Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph -- are set to retire from the top court while Justice A K Sikri would demit office in March 2019.

Justice Gupta was appointed as a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on July 2, 2002 and on February 8, 2016, he was transferred to Patna High Court where he was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice on October 29, 2016.

He was appointed as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court on March 18, 2017.

Justice Rastogi was appointed as a judge of the Rajasthan High Court on in September 2004 and was also made the Acting Chief Justice there.

He had taken oath as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court on March 1, 2018.

Justice Shah was appointed as a judge of the Gujarat High Court on March 7, 2004 and later in August this year, he was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court.

Justice Reddy was elevated as an additional judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on December 2, 2002. He was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court on February 13, 2016.