Following a flurry of deliberations, the Supreme Court collegium has recommended Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta for appointment as a judge to the highest court.
According to a resolution posted on the court’s website, Justice Dutta’s name was finalised at the collegium meeting on Monday.
The collegium is currently led by Chief Justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit and includes justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, SA Nazeer, and KM Joseph, the Supreme Court’s first five judges.
This is the collegium’s first recommendation since Justice Lalit took over as CJI on August 27.
The top court currently has 5 vacancies despite having a sanctioned strength of 34 judges.
On September 23, Justice Indira Banerjee was the last judge to resign.
Following back-to-back meetings in the last week, the collegium could decide on a name for elevation to the Supreme Court, according to people familiar with the situation. While the collegium members were unable to reach an agreement in the three meetings held last week, justice Dutta was a unanimous choice on Monday.
Other names for the apex court were also discussed during the meeting, and the collegium may recommend more names during the week, according to people in the know. Furthermore, the collegium deliberated on a few names for the appointment of high court chief justices, and some of them may be approved by the collegium soon.
In June 2006, Justice Dutta, 57, was appointed to the Calcutta High Court.
In April 2020, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
If the collegium’s recommendation is approved by the union government, Justice Dutta will be appointed to the Supreme Court for an eight-year term.