Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre, R Banumathi, Prafulla Chandra Pant and Uday Umesh Lalit today assumed charge as Supreme Court judges, taking the apex court's strength to 30, including Chief Justice R M Lodha. Justices Pant, 62, Sapre, 59, and Bhanumati, 58, were the Chief Justices of the Meghalaya High Court, Gauhati High Court and Jharkhand High Court. 58-year-old Justice Lalit, who was a senior advocate and in the panel recommended by the Supreme Court collegium, has been elevated as an apex court judge from the bar.
The sanctioned strength of judges in the apex court is 31, including the CJI. The four judges were elevated to apex court and were administered the oath of office by CJI Lodha. Justice Pant was appointed as the first Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court in September, 2013. He was born in Pithoragarh district of then undivided Uttar Pradesh and joined the UP Judicial Service in 1976 and held different posts. He became additional judge of the Uttarakhand High Court in June 2004 and a permanent Judge in February 2008.
Justice Sapre, who was born in Jabalpur, was sworn in as the chief justice of Gauhati High Court in October last year. He obtained his LLB degree from the university teaching department, Jabalpur and enrolled as an advocate in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh in 1978. He has practised in civil, constitutional, taxation, company law and labour laws and was a standing counsel for the income tax department in MP High Court. He was appointed as additional judge of the High Court of MP in 1999 and as permanent judge in 2001.
He was transferred to Rajasthan High Court and has also functioned as a judge of Chhattisgarh High Court.