Who Could Be the Next CJI As Bobde’s Tenure Ends?
So, who would replace the incumbent CJI and how is this person chosen?
Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde retires on 23 April, and with just a month to go, the government has started the process of looking for a replacement.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday, 19 March, sent a letter to the CJI, asking him to recommend his successor, noted PTI.
CJI Bobde took the oath of office on 18 November 2019 at the age of 63, after succeeding Justice Ranjan Gogoi in the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Nagpur-born Justice became the 47th CJI of the country and has served a tenure of 17 months.
Bobde has presided over many landmark cases – from hearing of migrant workers affected by the COVID-19 lockdown and the farmers’ protest to the Ayodhya Janmabhoomi case, as well as the case of sexual harassment against his predecessor, Ranjan Gogoi.
So who would replace the incumbent CJI and how is this person chosen?
HOW IS THE NEXT CJI SELECTED?
In accordance to the Memorandum of Procedure which is used to elect members of the higher judiciary, the next CJI is likely to be the most senior judge of the Supreme Court who is fit to hold office.
As the head of the Judiciary of India and the SC, the CJI is the highest post that a judge can hold.
This norm was broken after the appointments of Justice Ajit Nath Ray – which sparked protests across the judiciary in 1973 – and the 15th CJI, Mirza Hameedullah Beg, in 1977, who was appointed over the most senior judges at the time.
The law minister is supposed to ask the outgoing CJI for a recommendation, after which he presents it before the Prime Minister. The President announces the next CJI after consulting with the PM.
The CJI holds office up to the age of 65 years and cannot be removed without the process of impeachment by the Parliament. The Article 124(4) deals with the impeachment. The CJI can also resign by writing to the President, noted PTI.
WHO IS BEING CONSIDERED AS THE NEXT CJI?
Following the norm of the senior-most judge to be elected as the next CJI, Justice NV Ramana is most likely to be Bobde’s replacement.
Born on 27 August 1957, Ramana practised at the Andhra Pradesh High Court and in 2000, was appointed as a judge there. He became the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court by 2013, and within three months was posted to the SC. Ramana’s tenure is likely to end by 26 August 2022, after 16 months, noted Supreme Court Observer.
Some of Ramana’s landmark cases have been the impeachment case against former CJI Dipak Misra in 2018, the MLA Bribery Case where he made a significant ruling against criminalisation of politics and the RTI, and the Judicial Independence case, added the report.
(With inputs from Supreme Court Observer and PTI)
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