In a significant development, Senior Advocate K V Viswanathan has been recommended by the collegium for judgeship in the Supreme Court and is set to become the 58th Chief Justice of India in August 2030, subject to approval from the Centre. The collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, recently held a meeting and recommended the names of Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, and Viswanathan to fill the vacancies in the apex court.
The recommendation comes as two justices, Justice MR Shah and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, recently retired from the Supreme Court, bringing the total strength of the court down to 32 judges. If approved, the appointment of Viswanathan will not only restore the full sanctioned strength of 34 judges, including the Chief Justice of India, but will also add an esteemed lawyer to the list of Chief Justices who were directly elevated from the Bar.
Born on May 26, 1966, Viswanathan is a highly respected and accomplished senior advocate with extensive experience in diverse areas of law, including Constitutional law, criminal law, commercial law, the law of Insolvency, and arbitration. After completing his integrated law degree from Coimbatore Law College, Bharathiyar University, he enrolled with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu in 1988. In 2009, he was designated as a senior advocate in the Supreme Court.
The collegium’s recommendation highlighted Viswanathan’s profound knowledge, wide experience, and impeccable integrity, emphasizing that his appointment would enhance the representation of the Bar in the composition of the Supreme Court. The resolution also noted that Viswanathan had previously been appointed as amicus curiae by the Supreme Court in several cases, further attesting to his stature and expertise.
Viswanathan’s potential tenure as Chief Justice of India is expected to commence upon the retirement of Justice Jamshed Burjor Pardiwala on August 11, 2030, and continue until May 25, 2031. His appointment would provide a significant value addition to the Supreme Court, given his extensive legal acumen and esteemed reputation within the legal fraternity.
It remains to be seen whether the Centre will give its nod to the collegium’s recommendation, but if approved, Viswanathan’s elevation to the position of Chief Justice of India will mark another milestone in his illustrious legal career.