Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde on Wednesday sent a letter to the government recommending the appointment of Supreme Court Judge Justice NV Ramana as the next CJI and handed over a copy of the recommendation to Justice Ramana. CJI SA Bobde is due to retire on April 23.
The development comes after the Centre asked the CJI to recommend his successor with a little less than a month before his retirement, according to news agency PTI.
Traditionally, the sitting chief justice writes a recommendation for his successor.
Justice NV Ramana is the most senior judge in the Supreme Court after CJI Bobde. Born on August 27, 1957, Justice Ramana has tenure till August 26, 2022.He is scheduled to take over charge as the 48th CJI on April 24.
He was appointed a permanent judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in June 2000. He served as Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court before being elevated to the Supreme Court in February 2014.
As per the procedures for the appointment of members of the higher judiciary, “appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of India should be of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office”.
It stipulates that the law minister would, at an appropriate time, seek the recommendation of the outgoing Chief Justice of India for the appointment of the next CJI.
Under this process, after receipt of the recommendation of the CJI, the law minister puts it
before the Prime Minister who advises the President in the matter of appointment.
“Whenever there is any doubt about the fitness of the senior-most Judge to hold the office of the Chief Justice of India, consultation with other Judges…would be made for appointment of the next Chief Justice of India,” the document states.
Justice Bobde was sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India in November 2019, succeeding Justice (retired) Ranjan Gogoi.