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The Government has cleared the appointments of four more judges to the Supreme Court, thus taking it to its full strength of 34. The strength of the apex court was only recently increased from 31 to 34.

The new judges are Justice V Ramasubramanian of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, Justice Krishna Murari of the Punjab and Haryana High court, Justice S Ravindra Bhat of Rajasthan HC and Justice Hrishikesh Roy of the Kerala HC.

The Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had recommended their elevation as apex court judges on August 28. The Supreme Court vacancies had increased its judicial strength from 31 to 34 following the enactment of the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Bill of 2019 into law. One of the four judges would replace the vacancy following the retirement of Justice A M Sapre recently. The sanctioned strength of SC judges was increased days after CJI Ranjan Gogoi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the number of judges in the top court.

As of now, the apex court has 30 judges. Once the new judges take oath, the strength will go up to 34, the highest ever.

According to a written reply by the Law Ministry to a Rajya Sabha question on July 11, 59,331 cases are pending in the top court. Due to paucity of judges, the required number of constitution benches to decide important cases involving questions of law were not being formed, the CJI said.

—India Legal Bureau

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