NEW DELHI: In a landmark development for the Indian judiciary, Justice Prasanna Bhalachandra Varale has been sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court, filling the lone vacancy left by the retirement of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul in December 2023. This appointment not only ensures the apex court's complete roster of 34 judges but also strengthens Dalit representation on the Bench to three, alongside Justices B.R. Gavai and C.T. Ravikumar.
Operating at full capacity last year, the Supreme Court achieved a record disposition of a staggering 52,191 cases by calendar year 2023. The timely appointment of Justice Varale was its price determined to manage the increasing workload and address outstanding issues meets.
Born on June 23, 1962, Justice Varale brings a wealth of experience to the Supreme Court, having served as a judge for 23 years, with a reputation for impeccable conduct and integrity His previous role as Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court reveals his guidance and judgment.
He was appointed within a week of the Supreme Court Collegium's recommendation, headed by Chief Justice of India Chandrachud. The Collegium, comprising five judges, acknowledged Justice Varale as among the senior-most high court judges and the only high court chief justice from the Scheduled Caste.
A law ministry notification confirmed the appointment, stating, "In exercise of powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Prasanna Bhalachandra Varale to be a Judge of the Supreme Court of India, with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office."
The Collegium, in recommending the name of Justice Varale, emphasized the need to maintain at all times a high-performing judicial body in light of the significant increase in judicial workload for the purpose of maintaining the Supreme Court settlement has in the past unprecedented year.
Justice Varale's elevation to the Supreme Court also increases the Bombay High Court's representation in the Supreme Court to four judges. Notably, the other three judges of the Bombay Parent High Court are Chief Justice Chandrachud, Justice Gavai and Abhay S Oka.
This form of appointment not only fills an important vacancy but reinforces the commitment to diversity and efficiency in India’s highest judiciary.