Karnataka High Court Chief Justice PB Varale was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge by CJI DY Chandrachud on Thursday. Justice Varale was administered the oath of office at a program organized in the Supreme Court complex. The Center had on Wednesday approved the appointment of Justice Varale as a judge in the Supreme Court. After his swearing in, the number of judges in the apex court has been completed. The sanctioned strength of judges in the Supreme Court is 34 which also includes the Chief Justice. This is the first time that three sitting judges in the Supreme Court are from the Dalit community. Similarly, history has been created in the Supreme Court.
The two other judges who belong to the Dalit community are Justice BR Gavai and Justice CT Ravikumar. While recommending Justice Varale’s name earlier this month, the Supreme Court collegium led by CJI Chandrachud had said it took into account the fact that he is one of the senior-most judges of the high court. The collegium had also said that he is the only Chief Justice of the High Court who belongs to the Scheduled Caste category. A vacancy had arisen in the apex court following the retirement of Justice SK Kaul last month.
Justice Varale was appointed within a week of the collegium recommending his name. A notification issued by the Law Ministry said, “In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint P B Varale, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, to the Supreme Court of India.” I feel happy to appoint him as the judge of…”
Who is Justice Varale?
While recommending the name of Justice Varale, the Collegium said that the Supreme Court had functioned almost the entire time last year with a full capacity of 34 judges and hence it could have the distinction of disposing of 52,191 cases in the year 2023. Justice Varale was born on June 23, 1962, and was appointed a judge of the Bombay High Court on July 18, 2008. He was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court on 15 October 2022.