Four new Delhi High Court judges, including two women, were sworn in today, taking the working strength of the court to 38. The four judges-- Justices Rekha Palli, Prathiba M Singh, Navin Chawla and C Hari Shankar-- were administered oath by Delhi High Court Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal. The four were appointed as judges by the President after their names were approved by the government and they would now add to the strength of the high court which has been working with a little over half of its sanctioned number of judges. With the elevation of Rekha Palli and Prathiba M Singh, there will be 10 women judges in the high court. The fresh appointments would increase the working strength of judges to 38 as against the sanctioned strength of 60. As per the new roster, Justice C Hari Shankar will sit with Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal, Justice Navin Chawla with Justice Ravindra Bhat, Justice Prathiba Singh with Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Rekha Palli with Justice G S Sistani. A notification issued on May 11 by the Ministry of Law and Justice said, "In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 217 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Rekha Palli, Prathiba M Singh, Navin Chawla and C Hari Shankar, to be judges of the Delhi High Court, in that order of seniority, with effect from the date they assume charge of their respective offices." While Prathiba M Singh is a leading intellectual property rights lawyer, Chawla's focus is on telecom and broadcasting laws.
Shankar is a leading indirect tax and service lawyer. Palli, who was designated as a senior advocate in 2015, had argued for the grant of permanent commission to all women officers who were recruited before May 2006 in the Air Force and Army. The high court in 2010 had held that not granting them permanent commission amounted to gender discrimination.