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5 more Judges, but Supreme Court still three short

New Delhi, The government today cleared the appointment of five new judges to the Supreme Court, taking its strength to 28 against the sanctioned strength of 31.

President Pranab Mukherjee signed the Warrants of Appointment for the five judges. The official notifications would be issued soon. Four of them were chief justices of state high courts while one was a high court senior judge.

Those elevated to the Supreme Court are: Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Naveen Sinha, Kerala High Court Chief Justice Mohan M Shantanagouder, Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice Dipak Gupta and Karnataka High Court Judge S Abdul Nazeer.

They are likely to be sworn-in on Friday, sources said.

The top court – which has almost 60,000 cases pending – has been functioning with only 23 judges. The appointments were stuck due to differences in the collegium as Justice J Chelameswar raised the issue of lack of transparency in its functioning.

Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant are due to retire later this year.

CJI JS Khehar had recently indicated that the stalemate between the judiciary and the executive over the proposed memorandum of procedure for judges’ appointment might end soon.

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