On November 06, 2023, the Supreme Court Collegium issued a resolution recommending the elevation of three High Court Chief Justices to the Supreme Court (SC), Mr. Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, Mr. Justice Augustine George Masih, and Mr. Justice Sandeep Mehta. The Collegium consists of Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice B.R. Gavai, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, and Justice Surya Kant. Initially, the SC is functioning with 31 judges whereas the sanctioned strength is of 34 judges. It means there is a vacancy for 3 new judges to complete the sanctioned strength of the Supreme Court. If the proposal to elevate Justices Satish Chandra Sharma, Augustine George Masih, and Sandeep Mehta is cleared then the Supreme Court will have its full strength.
While recommending appointments to the Supreme Court the Collegium considered certain aspects which are mentioned as follows:
Mr. Justice Satish Chandra Sharma is serving as a Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. He was appointed as a judge of the Madhya Pradesh HC (parent HC) on January 18, 2008. While recommending his name, the Collegium considered the fact that at present the SC bench is represented by only one judge from the Madhya Pradesh HC. Moreover, Mr. Justice Augustine George Masih is serving as a Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court. He was appointed as a judge of Punjab & Haryana HC (parent HC) on July 10, 2008. While recommending his name, the Collegium considered the fact that at present the SC bench is represented by two judges from the Punjab & Haryana HC. Further, the Collegium also pointed out that Mr. Justice Sandeep Mehta is serving as a Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court. He was appointed as a judge of Rajasthan HC (parent HC) on May 30, 2011. While recommending his name, the Collegium said, “The judgments authored by him dealing with issues in various branches of law stand testimony to his legal acumen and competence. Mr. Justice Mehta stands at Sl. No. 23 in the combined all-India seniority of High Court Judges. In the seniority of Judges hailing from the High Court of Rajasthan, he stands at Sl. No.1. Apart from according representation to the State of Rajasthan, the appointment of Mr Justice Mehta will provide a value addition in terms of his acquired knowledge and experience.”