Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde was sworn-in as the 47th Chief Justice of India on Monday. President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office of Chief Justice of India to Justice Bobde at 9.30 a.m. Justice Bobde, the second senior-most judge of the apex court was recommended by Outgoing Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi as his successor on October 18. Justice Bobde will serve as CJI for around 18 months and retire on April 23, 2021.
Who is Justice Bobde?
Born in Nagpur on April 24, 1956, Justice Bobde completed his graduation and obtained a law degree from Nagpur University. He was enrolled on the role of the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978 and was designated as Senior Advocate in 1998.
Hailing from a family of lawyers from Maharashtra, he is the son of eminent senior advocate Arvind Shriniwas Bobde.
His career as a judge began on March 29, 2000 when he was appointed as Additional Judge in the Bombay High Court and he rose to become Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court on October 16, 2012. He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on April 12, 2013.
Justice Bobde was a part of Ayodhya verdict
Justice Bobde has decided several key cases and was part of the recent historic verdict that cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
Justice Bobde, 63, who would succeed CJI Ranjan Gogoi, would prefer a conservative approach on the issue of disclosing the Collegium's entire deliberations on the rejection of names for appointment in the higher judiciary.
The CJI-designate had said that people's reputation cannot be sacrificed just to satisfy the desire of citizens to know.
On the issue of huge vacancies of judges in courts across the country and lack of judicial infrastructure, Justice Bobde wishes to take to the "logical end" the steps taken by his predecessor CJI Gogoi.
Justice Gogoi had taken note of vacancies and lack of infrastructure in courts and has been monitoring them by issuing directions to all states and respective high courts to do the needful.
A five-judge constitution bench, of which Justice Bobde was also a part, rendered a unanimous verdict to put the curtains down on the vexatious Ayodhya land dispute which was pending in courts since 1950.
A nine-judge bench of the apex court headed by the then CJI JS Khehar and which included Justice Bobde held unanimously in August 2017 that the Right to Privacy was a constitutionally protected fundamental right in India.
Justice Bobde has been chosen following the rule of seniority and his name was recommended by Justice Gogoi in a letter to the Centre.
His Warrant of Appointment was signed by President Ram Nath Kovind following which the Law Ministry issued a notification naming the judge as the next head of the Indian judiciary.
Justice Bobde also headed a three-member in-house committee which gave a clean chit to CJI Gogoi on a sexual harassment complaint against him by a former apex court staffer. The committee also included Justices Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra.
Justice Bobde was part of the three-judge bench which in 2015 clarified that no citizen of India without an Aadhaar card can be denied basic services and government services.
Recently, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Bobde directed the Committee of Administrators (CoA) headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai, appointed by it for the purpose of running the BCCI administration, to demit office paving the way for elected members to run the affairs of the cricket board.