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RM Lodha's ace in hole: Rohinton Nariman, Gopal Subramanium, 2 others to become SC judges

Subramanium: One of four aces
Subramanium: One of four aces
Facing a long string of retirements during his term, Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha and the collegium have recommended the elevation of former solicitor generals of India Rohinton Nariman and Gopal Subramanium to the apex court, alongside Adarsh Goel and Arun Mishra who are respectively Orissa and Calcutta high court chief justices, reported The Hindu, the Times of India and the Indian Express today.

The appointment of two practising lawyers to the Supreme Court at once is unprecedented, according to the papers, with no advocate having been on the court's bench since Santosh Hegde between 1999 and 2005.

Nariman and Subramanium, with the former having succeeded the latter as solicitor general, will respectively have tenures of seven and nine years as Supreme Court judges, according to The Hindu, which has given potted synopses of the four candidates' careers. Their names will likely be confirmed once the next government takes over.

Subramanium told the Times of India that successful senior advocates would have to sacrifice a lot in order to become a judge, saying: “But I took a call and decided to serve in the temple of justice.”

Subramanium, who is aged 56, was a former ex-officio member of the Bar Council of India, had joined English barristers chambers 3 Verulam Chambers as an arbitrator, Legally India reported in late 2013. He is also a visiting professor at Delhi University and an honorary adjunct professor at Jindal Global Law School.

Nariman, aged 58, was designated as one of the youngest ever senior counsel at the time at age 37 in 1993 after the official minimum age for senior counsel was reduced from 45.

Also read: Court Witness’ column on Subramanium and Nariman from 2011.

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