SC collegium recommends appointment of AP Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, Viswanathan as SC judges

The Supreme Court collegium on Tuesday recommended to the Centre to appoint Andhra Pradesh High Court's Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and senior advocate K.V. Viswanathan, as judges of the apex court.

New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) The Supreme Court collegium on Tuesday recommended to the Centre to appoint Andhra Pradesh High Court’s Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and senior advocate K.V. Viswanathan, as judges of the apex court.

The collegium, in a resolution dated May 16, said: “After carefully evaluating the merit, integrity and competence of eligible Chief Justices and senior puisne judges of the high courts and also accommodating a plurality of considerations, the collegium finds Mr. Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, Chief Justice, Andhra Pradesh High Court (PHC: Chhattisgarh) to be more deserving and suitable in all respects for being appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India.”

The resolution said: “The collegium is conscious of the fact that the present Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court who was appointed as a judge on 31 March 2009 is drawn from the parent High Court of Chhattisgarh and ranks senior to Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra. However, having considered all relevant factors, the collegium is of the view that Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra is worthy of appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court.”

Justice Mishra was appointed as a judge of the High Court of Chhattisgarh on December 10, 2009 and appointed as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on October 13, 2021.

“There is no representation to the High Court of Chhattisgarh in the present composition of the Supreme Court of India. Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra has served as a judge of the High Court for over thirteen years and ranks at serial number 21 in the All-India Seniority List of judges of the High Courts. During his tenure of nearly twelve years as a judge of the High Court of Chhattisgarh, Justice Mishra has acquired significant experience in diverse fields of law,” said the collegium.

“His judgments cover wide ranging issues pertaining to law and justice. Besides according representation to the state of Chhattisgarh, the appointment of Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra will provide a value addition in terms of his acquired knowledge and experience. Justice Mishra is a judge with integrity,” it added.

The collegium said at present there is only one member from the Bar directly appointed to the Supreme Court bench, and in their considered opinion, senior advocate Viswanathan is eminently suitable for being appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court.

“The appointment of K V Viswanathan will enhance the representation to the Bar in the composition of the Supreme Court. Viswanathan is a distinguished member of the Bar of the Supreme Court. His wide experience and profound knowledge will provide a significant value addition to the Supreme Court,” it said.

The collegium said Viswanathan has appeared in a wide range of cases on diverse subjects including constitutional law, criminal law, commercial law, the law of insolvency, and arbitration.

“His stature as an eminent member of the Bar has been recognised by the Supreme Court in numerous cases where he was appointed to assist the court as amicus curiae. Viswanathan has a sound understanding of law and is known in the legal fraternity for his integrity and as an upright senior member of the Bar,” it said.

Viswanathan was born on May 26, 1966 and on his appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court would serve in that capacity until May 25, 2031.

On the retirement of Justice Jamshed Burjor Pardiwala on August 11, 2030, Viswanathan would be in line to assume office as the Chief Justice of India till his retirement.

The Supreme Court of India has a sanctioned strength of 34 Judges and is presently functioning with 32 Judges. “Thus, there are two clear vacancies. With four more vacancies which are going to arise by the second week of July, the working strength of Judges would come to 28,” said the collegium.

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