Four high court chief justices were on Thursday night elevated to the Supreme Court, within 48 hours of the collegium recommending their names to the government. The Law Ministry notified their appointments on Thursday night. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court collegium, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had recommended the names of Justices Hemant Gupta, Ajay Rastogi, MR Shah and R Subhash Reddy for their elevation as top court judges. Justice Gupta is currently the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, while Justice Rastogi is the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court.
Justice Shah is the incumbent Chief Justice of the Patna High Court, while Justice Reddy is the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court.
The ministry also notified the appointment of acting chief justices in these high courts.
Once the new judges take charge, the strength of the Supreme Court would rise to 28.
At present, the top court has 24 judges, including the Chief Justice, while its sanctioned strength is 31.
This year, two judges — Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — are set to retire from the top court, while Justice AK Sikri would demit office in March 2019.
Justice Gupta was appointed as a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on July 2, 2002 and on February 8, 2016, he was transferred to the Patna High Court where he was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice on October 29, 2016.
He was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on March 18, 2017.
Justice Rastogi was appointed as a judge of the Rajasthan High Court in September, 2004 and was also made the Acting Chief Justice there.
He had taken oath as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court on March 1, 2018.
Justice Shah was appointed as a judge of the Gujarat High Court on March 7, 2004 and later in August this year, he was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court.
Justice Reddy was elevated as an additional judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on December 2, 2002. He was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court on February 13, 2016.