Justice Prasanna B Varale sworn-in as Supreme Court judge, apex court gets full strength

The swearing-in function was held in the Supreme Court premises, a day after the Union government cleared his name for judgeship.


Published Jan 25, 2024 | 1:11 PMUpdatedJan 25, 2024 | 1:11 PM

Justice Prasanna B Varale

Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale was, on Thursday, 25 January, administered the oath of office as a Supreme Court judge by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.

The swearing-in function was held in the Supreme Court premises, a day after the Union government cleared his name for judgeship.

With the swearing-in, the top court has attained its full strength of 34 judges, including the Chief Justice of India, and would for the first time have three sitting judges from the Dalit community. The other two sitting judges from the Scheduled Caste community are Justices BR Gavai and CT Ravikumar.

While recommending Justice Varale’s name earlier this month, a five-judge Supreme Court Collegium headed by CJI Chandrachud, said that it took into consideration the fact that he is among the senior-most high court judges and is the only high court chief justice from the Scheduled Caste.

Also Read: SC collegium recommends Justice PB Varale’s elevation as top court judge

The appointment

A vacancy arose in the apex court following the retirement of Justice SK Kaul on 25 December last year. Justice Varale’s appointment came within a week of the Supreme Court Collegium recommending his name.

“In exercise of powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Prasanna Bhalachandra Varale, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, to be a Judge of the Supreme Court of India, with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office,” a law ministry notification read.

While recommending Justice Varale’s name, the collegium had observed that the Supreme Court had operated almost throughout last year with the full strength of 34 judges and, therefore, could achieve the distinction of recording an unprecedented rate of disposal by disposing of 52,191 cases in the calendar year 2023.

“Bearing in mind that the workload of judges has increased considerably, it has become necessary to ensure that the court has full working judge strength at all times. The Collegium has, therefore, decided to fill up the sole existing vacancy by recommending a name,” it noted.

Also Read: SC Collegium recommends appointment of four advocates as AP HC judges

Justice Varale

Born on 23 June 1962, Justice Varale was appointed as a judge of the High Court of Bombay on 18 July 2008, and elevated as the chief justice of the High Court of Karnataka on 15 October 2022.

Justice Varale’s elevation to the apex court would take the representation of the Bombay High Court in the Supreme Court to four. The other three judges having the parent high court of Bombay are CJI Chandrachud, Justices Gavai and Abhay S Oka.

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