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Five judges took oath on Friday and immediately got into action in various courts

The five new appointees to the Supreme Court bench were administered their oaths at 10.30 am by the Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar, on Friday. Proceedings at the court started at 11.15 am, and the five judges immediately took up positions in five courts, adding to the existing bench.

They were seen in action in courts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, and were appended to cases that were already in process.

The new appointees are Justices Deepak Gupta, SA Nazeer, Mohan Shantanagoudar, SK Kaul and Navin Sinha. They are promoted chief justices from Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madras and Rajasthan High Courts, respectively.

The addition of these five judges boosts the bench strength of the apex court to 28, which is still three short of the sanctioned strength of 31. Two more recommendations are expected.

The apex court—as also every other court across the country—is burdened with huge pendency and only with the coming in of Justice Khehar as the chief justice of India has the pathway opened up again for the induction of new judges. Recently, nine judges were appointed full-time chief justices of different high courts of the country. Some of those courts were functioning under acting chief justices for a long time.

Those nine appointments signalled a clearance of the logjam that existed between the judiciary and the executive, which had stalled appointment of fresh judges, as well as the regular promotions. This would be the only way to deal with the piling cases that is not serving justice.

—India Legal Bureau

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