SC collegium names 9 judges; Justice Nagarathna could be first woman CJI
In a first, the Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has recommended the Centre names of three women judges among nine names of judges to be appointed to the apex court. Among the three women, Justice BV Nagarathna’s name has been recommended for the post of CJI for 2027. It will be the first time that the apex court will have a woman CJI.
The collegium’s recommendation comes after a 22-month stalemate over a decision, due to a lack of consensus among the five senior-most judges on the names.
Justice Nagarathna is currently a judge with the Karnataka High Court. The other two women judges are Justice Hima Kohli, the Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court and Justice Bela Trivedi of the Gujarat High Court.
The decision comes amid a rising chorus in demand for a woman CJI.
Former CJI SA Bobde too had stressed the need for India to have a woman Chief Justice.
“We have the interest of women in our minds, and we are implementing it best. There is no attitude change in us. The only thing is we have to get good candidates,” he had said in April.
The development comes days after the retirement of Justice Rohinton Nariman. Justice Nariman, a former member of the collegium had stressed that a consensus on shortlisting the new apex court judges cannot be built unless the collegium recommends the elevation of two-senior most judges – Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Tripura High Court Chief Justice Akil Kureshi – first.
An Indian Express report said Justice Oka as well as Justice Vikram Nath, the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court and Justice JK Maheswari, the Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court have been recommended by the collegium.
The other judges whose names have been reportedly recommended are Justice CT Ravikumar, the second senior-most judge of the Kerala High Court, and Justice MM Sundaresh, the third-most senior judge of the Madras High Court.