By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  For the first time ever, three women judges were together recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court, one of whom could go on to become the first woman Chief Justice of India (CJI). They were part of the nine names cleared by the five-member Supreme Court collegium, whose decision was uploaded on Wednesday.

The recommendations are subject to approval by the Centre. Justice B V Nagarathna, the senior-most judge of the Karnataka High Court, has the chance of becoming the first woman CJI in in September 2027.

The other two women judges picked for elevation are Justice Hima Kohli, Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court and Justice Bela Trivedi, the fifth in seniority in the Gujarat High Court. Two other chief justices — Justice C T Ravikumar of the Kerala High Court and Justice M M Sundresh of the Madras High Court — were recommended for promotion by the collegium, which met on Tuesday.

Besides, senior advocate P S Narasimha has been selected for appointment directly to the bench. If his name is cleared, Narasimha would become only the sixth lawyer in India to be elevated to the SC bench directly from the Bar. The last such elevation was of Justice Rohinton F Nariman, who retired last week.

Narasimha is a former Additional Solicitor General. With the retirement of Justice Navin Sinha on Wednesday, the strength of judges in the top court came down to 24 as against a sanctioned strength of 34, including the CJI. No appointment has been made to the Supreme Court after CJI Ranjan Gogoi retired on March 19, 2019.