Justice Hrishikesh Roy. Image credit - livelaw.in

The President has appointed four new Judges, including one from Assam, to the Supreme Court taking the total number of Judges in the apex court to 34.

Out of the four newly-appointed Judges, one hails from Assam.

The Assam-born Judge is Justice Hrishikesh Roy, who is currently serving as the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court.

The three other Judges are Justices Krishna Murari, SR Bhat and V Ramasubramanian.

While Justice Krishna Murari is currently the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice S Ravindra Bhat is the Chief Justice of High Court of Rajasthan and Justice V Ramasubramanian is serving as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh.

Hrishikesh Roy, who was born on February 1, 1960, is a former Judge of Gauhati High Court.

He was sworn in as the 35th Chief Justice of Kerala HC on August 8, 2018.

Roy has been serving as the acting CJ of Kerala HC since May 30, 2018 following her transfer from Guwahati HC.

Roy did his graduation in Law from Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi in 1982, say reports.

He graduated along with Justice Ravindra Bhat.

Roy, who was initially enrolled under the Bar Council of Delhi, later shifted to Guwahati.

On December 21, 2004, he was designated as a senior advocate of Gauhati HC.

He took oath as an Additional Judge of Gauhati HC in October 2006 and became a permanent judge in July 2008.

Roy’s term as a Judge of the apex court will end on February 1, 2025.

It may be mentioned that during his stay in Assam, before being a Judge, Roy served as a senior government advocate for the Arunachal Pradesh government.

He also worked as the standing counsel for the Assam power department and the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC).

He also served as the executive head of the Assam State Legal Services Authority.

Roy was also nominated as a member of the National Judicial Academic Council presided by the Chief Justice of India.

The notification issued on Wednesday by the Ministry of Law and Justice (department of Justice) and signed by Rajinder Kashyap, Joint Secretary, government of India said: “In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, to be a Judge of the Supreme Court of India with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.”

The appointments come a month after Parliament passed a bill increasing the judicial strength from 30 to 33, excluding the Chief Justice of India, on August 7.

Union Cabinet approved the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019, after Chief Justice of India and Assam’s son of the soil, Ranjan Gogoi, dashed off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the number of judges in the apex court, citing delay in settling cases.

Chief Justice Gogoi wrote to the PM:  “You would recall that way back in 1988, about three decades ago, the judge strength of the SC was increased from 18 to 26, and then again after two decades in 2009, it was increased to 31, including the CJI, to expedite disposal of cases to keep pace with the rate of institution.”

Gogoi further wrote:  “I request you to kindly consider, on top priority, to augment the judge-strength in the SC appropriately so that it can function more efficiently and effectively as it will go a long way to attain the ultimate goal of rendering timely justice to the litigant public.”

While Justice V Ramasubramanian hails from Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Justice Ravindra Bhat hails from Mysore in Karnataka and Justice Krishna Murari hails from Allahabad.

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