NEW DELHI: With Justice Arun Mishra set to retire on September 2, the strength of the Supreme Court judges will not only get reduced to 30 from the total 34 but the regional imbalance will get further accentuated.
As many as nine high courts are not represented at all in the apex court and with Justice Mishra’s retirement, this will rise to 10.
Justice Mishra belongs to Madhya Pradesh and he is currently the only representative from the state.
The high courts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Odisha have no judges in the Supreme Court currently.
Contrast this with only four high courts — Delhi, Allahabad, Bombay and Karnataka—and the SC Bar having 17 judges.
This constitutes about 55% of all the apex court judges. Though there are no specific rules to maintain a regional balance, the Supreme Court collegium and the government have tried their best to give representation to all high courts.
Regional representation is a Supreme Court judge’s parent high court, or the court where they first became a high court judge. One can also become a Supreme Court judge directly while being a lawyer in a high court.
Six high courts, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, and Sikkim, have never had a Supreme Court judge. Until recently, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand had one judge each. But Justice Deepak Gupta, who represented Himachal Pradesh, retired in May this year.