The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the elevation of four High Court Chief Justices, Justices MR Shah, Ajay Rastogi, Hemant Gupta and R Subhash Reddy [Pictured from left to right above] to the Supreme Court.
If the recommendations are cleared, it will bring the working strength of the Supreme Court to 28, just three judges short of its sanctioned strength.
Chief Justice MR Shah, is presently at the helm of the Patna High Court, after his recent transfer from the Gujarat High Court. Following his enrolment in 1982, Justice Shah practiced in the Gujarat High Court. He served as an additional standing counsel for the Central Government and has also appeared for the Central Bureau of Investigation. His practice including Constitutional law, central excise and customs law. He was appointed an additional judge of the Gujarat High Court in March 2004. The following year, his appointment was made permanent. In August this year, he was transferred to be appointed as the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court.
Chief Justice Hemant Gupta is currently heading the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Justice Gupta enrolled as an advocate in July 1980. His areas of practice included Labour law, Company law, Constitutional law and Service law. He has served as an additional advocate general for Punjab between 1997 and 1999. He was appointed a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in July 2002. He was thereafter transferred to the Patna High Court in February 2016. In October the same year, he was tasked as the Acting Chief Justice of the Patna High Court. In March 2017, he was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
Justice R Subhash Reddy is serving as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court. Following his enrolment in 1980, Justice Reddy’s areas of practice included Civil, Criminal and Constitutional law. In December 2002, he was elevated as an additional judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. He was sworn in as a permanent judge of the High Court in 2004. In February 2016, he was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court.
Justice Ajay Rastogi is currently the Chief Justice of Tripura High Court. He enrolled at the Bar in March 1982 and practiced in the Rajasthan High Court. He became a judge of the Rajasthan High Court in September 2004. He also served as the acting Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court for a month before he was appointed as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court.
If the Central Government signs off on these names, the working strength of the Supreme Court will rise from the present 24 judges to 28, as against the sanctioned strength of 31 judges.
Interestingly, another judge Justice Dinesh Maheshwari became a judge of the Rajasthan High Court on the same day as Justice Ajay Rastogi. Maheshwari J. became Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court in 2016 and is currently serving as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.