Four new judges of the Supreme Court were administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Friday, taking their overall number to 31 -- the full sanctioned strength of the top court.
Justices BR Gavai, Surya Kant, Aniruddha Bose and AS Bopanna were administered the oath of office by the CJI in court no.1 in the presence of several other sitting apex court judges. Among the 31 judges, the apex court has three women judges — Justices R Banumathi, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee.
Justices Malhotra and Banerjee were recently part of the three members in-house panel headed by Justice SA Bobde, which gave clean chit to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi after holding inquiry into the sexual harassment allegation levelled by a former apex court woman staffer against him.
The apex court, which was functioning with 27 judges, including the CJI has now reached its full strength for the first time since 2008 when Parliament had increased their number from 26 to 31.
President Ram Nath Kovind had on Wednesday issued warrants of appointment of the four judges.
The names of Justices Bose and Bopanna were earlier returned by the Centre to the Supreme Court collegium citing seniority and representation of regions as the reasons.
In its May 8 resolution, the five-member collegium had reiterated its recommendation to elevate them, observing that nothing adverse has been found regarding their competence, conduct or integrity.
The collegium, headed by the CJI, had also recommended the names of Justices Gavai and Kant for elevation to the apex court.