On July 12, 2023, two High Court chief justices, Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice SV Bhatti, were elevated as judges of the Supreme Court, who were recommended by the Collegium. The same was announced by Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on twitter. He tweeted “In exercise of the powers conferred by the Constitution of India, the Hon’ble President, after consultation with the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, is pleased to appoint the following 02 Chief Justices of High Courts as judges of the Supreme Court of India- Justice Ujjal Bhushan; Justice SV Bhatti.” There names were recommended for elevation on July 5, 2023 by the Supreme Court Collegium. After the retirement of Supreme Court judges during summer vacation and in month of July, the working strength of the SC becomes 30, leaving 4 vacancies. The working strength of the SC will be 32, once the two appointed judges take oath. At the SC, Justice Bhatti and Justice Bhuyan will have a term till May 6, 2027, and August 2, 2029 respectively.
While recommending Justice Bhuyan’s name, Collegium opined “His judgments cover wide-ranging issues pertaining to law and justice. Mr. Justice Ujjal Bhuyan is a judge with a good reputation for integrity and competence.” He is currently serving as the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court and his parent HC was Gauhati HC. Moreover, while recommending the name of Justice SV Bhatti, Collegium opined, “The judgments authored by him dealing with issues in various branches of law stand testimony to his legal acumen and competence. Apart from according representation to the State of Andhra Pradesh, the appointment of Mr. Justice Bhatti will provide a value addition in terms of his acquired knowledge and experience. He commands a good reputation and possesses integrity and competence.” He is currently serving as the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court and his parent HC was Andhra Pradesh HC.
In a recent felicitation function, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said “So everyone who comes to the Supreme Court and has come to the Supreme Court in the recent past commands the respect and affection and a sense of belonging of all the judges of the Supreme Court.” He further mentioned, “We must accept the fact that the government is also a stakeholder in the process and in these appointments which have come through in less than 72 hours after the names were recommended. I think we have sent the nation a message that the collegium is vibrant, active and committed to its tasks.”
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