New Delhi: 

As nine new judges took the oath as Supreme Court judges today, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana posed for pictures with his colleagues.

In one of the pictures, he is seen with the four sitting women judges of the Supreme Court — Justice Indira Banerjee, Justice B V Nagarathna, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Bela M Trivedi. With Justices Nagarathna, Kohli and Trivedi sworn in today, this is the highest number of sitting women judges the top court has ever had.

The previous high was three women judges — Justices R Banumathi, Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra were sitting judges from August 2018 to May 2020.

This elevation is also significant as the Supreme Court is set to get its first woman Chief Justice in Justice Nagarathna. Daughter of former Chief Justice of India E S Venkataramiah, she is in line for the post in September 2027.

Also, this was the first time when nine judges took the oath of office at one go.

To ensure Covid protocols, the swearing-in ceremony was held in the auditorium of the Supreme Court’s additional building complex and not the CJI’s courtroom where it is traditionally held.

“This is for the first time in the history of the Supreme Court of India when nine judges will be taking the oath of office in one go. In another first, the venue of the ceremony is shifted to the auditorium. This is done keeping in view the need for strict adherence to COVID norms,” said a press release issued by the top court’s public relations office.

Following today’s elevations, the Supreme Court now has 33 judges, including the Chief Justice, against the sanctioned strength of 34.

The nine new judges who were administered the oath of office are Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, Justice Vikram Nath, Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari, Justice Hima Kohli, Justice B V Nagarathna, Justice C T Ravikumar, Justice M M Sundresh, Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice P S Narasimha.

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