Supreme Court gets four new judges; existing strength goes up from 26 to 30

New Delhi, Aug 13: Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Justice R. Banumathi, Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant and senior advocate Uday Umesh Lalit Wednesday became the judges of the Supreme Court. They were administered the oath of the office by Chief Justice R.M. Lodha.

With the four new judges, the existing strength of the apex court judges has gone up from 26 to 30. The apex court has a sanctioned strength of 31 judges. Before being elevated to the apex court, Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre was the chief justice of Gauhati High Court, while Justice R. Banumathi was the chief justice of Jharkhand High Court and Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant was the chief justice of Maghalaya High Court.

Uday Umesh Lalit Wednesday joined the galaxy of senior counsel who were directly appointed as a judge of the apex court from the Supreme Court bar. Lalit was earlier the special public prosecutor leading CBI cases in 2G scam before the Special CBI court. He follows Justice Santosh Hegde and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman who were made judges of the apex court directly from the bar.

Before Lalit, senior counsel and former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium was recommended for the appointment as judge of the apex court, straight from the top court’s bar. But he withdrew his consent to be the judge of the apex court after the government returned his recommendation and a spate of stories critical of him appeared in the media.