The Supreme Court Collegium on 13 May 2014 recommended the names of Gopal Subramaniam and RF Nariman to be elevated as judges of the Supreme Court. The recommendation has to be approved by the Union Government.
The Collegium was headed by Chief Justice of India RM Lodha and comprised of the four most senior judges of the Supreme Court.
The two lawyers Gopal Subramaniam and Rohinton Fali Nariman have been the Solicitor Generals in the past.
Along with the names of Subramaniam and Nariman, the collegium also recommended appointment of Justice Arun Mishra, Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chief Justice of Orissa High Courts as judges of the Supreme Court.
Subramaniam enrolled as a lawyer in 1980 and practised in both SC and Delhi high court. He was lead counsel for CBI in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case that led to Kasab's conviction. He also represented the CBI in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and was prosecution counsel in the Parliament terror attack case. Subramaniam was an additional solicitor general from 2005 to 2009.
Nariman had succeeded Subramaniam as SG and resigned. Nariman, at 36, was among the youngest lawyer to be designated as senior advocate by the SC.
This is an unprecedented decision as in Supreme Court judges are rarely appointed from the bar. Usually, a former Chief Justice of a High Court is elevated to the position of a SC judge, though lawyers from the bar are sometimes elevated to the position of judges in High Court.
Constitution of India provides for three categories of persons to be appointed to the Supreme Court bench i.e high court judges, lawyers and academics.
Out of total 210 Supreme Court judges appointment made since 1950, only four appointments have been done out of the category of High Court judges. The first such appointment was made in 1964 when Justice S M Sikri was appointed followed by the appointment of Justice S C Roy in 1971, Justice Kuldip Singh in 1988 and Justice Santosh Hegde in 1999.
When: 13 May 2014