The government is learnt to have cleared all nine names recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana for appointments as apex court judges.
One of the names, Justice B.V. Nagarathna, may be in line to become the first woman Chief Justice of India, thus scripting history.
It is learnt that the files have been forwarded to the President for further formalities and issuance of warrant of appointments. If all goes to plan, the Supreme Court will have the nine new judges sworn in early next week.
The nine names include eight judges and one lawyer from the Supreme Court Bar.
They are Karnataka Chief Justice A.S. Oka, who is the seniormost Chief Justice among all High Court Chief Justices; Gujarat Chief Justice Vikram Nath; Sikkim Chief Justice J.K. Maheshwari; Telangana Chief Justice Hima Kohli, who is also the only serving woman Chief Justice of a High Court; Justice Nagarathna; Kerala High Court judge, Justice C.T. Ravikumar; Madras High Court judge, Justice M.M. Sundresh; Gujarat High Court judge, Justice Bela M. Trivedi; and senior advocate P.S. Narasimha, in that order.
The Collegium, also comprising Justices U.U. Lalit, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice L. Nageswara Rao, had met on August 17 to zero in on the names.
The Collegium had for the first time, in one single resolution, recommended three women judges. It had also sent a strong signal in favour of representation of women in the highest judiciary.
Three of the nine — Justice Nath and Justice Nagarathna and Mr. Narasimha would go on to be the Chief Justices of India. Mr. Narasimha, who had served as Additional Solicitor General, may become the ninth lawyer to be ever appointed directly as judge in the Supreme Court.