CJI D Y Chandrachud on Tuesday said the appointments of Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and senior advocate Kalpathy Venkataraman Viswanathan as judges of the Supreme Court within 72 hours of recommendation shows that the Collegium is vibrant, active and committed to its task.
Speaking at a felicitation ceremony organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association, he noted that Justices Mishra and Viswanathan bring together a tradition of continuity and freshness of ideas.
“I accept with gratitude the credit which has been given to me for the appointments of these two judges. But I will accept the accolade on behalf of all those who are part of the process which includes all my colleagues not just in the Collegium but beyond.
“All the appointments which we have made, we have extensively consulted all the judges of the Supreme Court. We must also accept the fact the government is a stakeholder in the process and in these appointments which have come through in less than 72 hours after the names were recommended, we have sent a message to the nation that the Collegium is vibrant, active and committed to its task,” CJI Chandrachud said.
The Chief Justice of India said Justice Mishra began his life with very humble origins and this shows judges who come to the top court are deeply connected with the social realities of India.
“Justice Mishra is the first judge of the Supreme Court to be elevated from the Chhattisgarh High Court. He represents yearnings of a comparatively new state. He reflects the aspirations of the younger generation of legal profession who can aspire to follow his steps. His appointment should not be just viewed from the perspective of success of a professional who has risen to occupy the office of the judge of the highest court of the country,” Chandrachud said.
Quoting a couplet, the CJI welcomed Justice Mishra and said, “Der lagi aane mein tumko shukr hai fir bhi aaye to, aas ne dil ka saath na chodhaa waise hum ghabraaye to.”
Talking about Justice Viswanathan, the CJI said he has been an ideal and mentor to the young members of the bar.
“He has contributed to building a team of young lawyers…His image as a lawyer indicates that being brash and ostentatious are not the hallmarks for the success in the Supreme Court Bar. He is so understated in his elegance and so simple in approach and yet so successful,” Chandrachud said.
Welcoming the elevation of Justice Viswanathan to the apex court, the CJI said, “Tum aa gae ho to kuchh chandni si baaten hon, zamin pe chand kahan roz roz utarta hai.”
Justice Mishra took the occasion to thank CJI Chandrachud for his appointment and said he is also a product of the Bar.
“I can assure you that on the bench, I will not do anything which will demean or discourage members of the Bar. I am an ardent advocate of the relationship between the Bar and the Bench. Nothing can move in the judicial system without the active cooperation of the Bar,” he said.
Justice Viswanathan also thanked the Collegium headed by Chief Justice Chandrachud for his appointment.
Former apex court judge Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra, Attorney General R Venkataramani, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Supreme Court Bar Association president and senior advocate Adish C Aggarwala were present on the occasion.
Justice Viswanathan will become the Chief Justice of India upon the retirement of Justice J B Pardiwala on August 11, 2030, and remain in the post till May 25, 2031.
Justice Mishra was appointed as a judge of the High Court of Chhattisgarh on December 10, 2009. He was appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on October 13, 2021.
He has served as a high court judge for more than 13 years and ranks 21st in the all-India seniority list of judges of high courts.
Justice Viswanathan will become the 58th Chief Justice of India in August 2030 for a period of more than nine months.
Born on May 26, 1966, Justice Viswanathan will join an elite list of lawyers to reach the position of the Chief Justice of India after being directly elevated to the apex court bench from the Bar.