Justice Ramana appointed next CJI, to hold post for 16 months
New Delhi, April 6, 2021
President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday signed off on the appointment of Justice N. V. Ramana as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI).
Elevated to the Supreme Court on February 17, 2014 after serving as Chief Justice of Delhi High Court since September 2, 2013, Justice Ramana will take over as the 48th CJI on April 24 after the retirement of incumbent S. A. Bobde on April 23.
According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice, the President, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution, is pleased to appoint Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, Judge of the Supreme Court, to be Chief Justice of India, with effect from April 24.
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Secretary, Justice, in the Law Ministry, Barun Mitra handed over the warrant of appointment signed by the President to Justice Ramana this morning.
Justice Ramana will have a tenure of over 16 months at the helm before he retires on August 26, 2022.
Chief Justice Bobde had recently recommended Justice Ramana as his successor in keeping with convention and norms of seniority.
Justice Ramana has presided over several high-profile cases in the top court.
In March last year, he headed the five-judge Constitution bench which declined to refer to a larger seven-judge bench a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre's decision to revoke provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
In Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India, January last year, Justice Ramana expounded on the nature of fundamental rights and declared that the right to freedom of speech and expression over the internet is a fundamental right. This judgment ensured the eventual return of internet in the Kashmir valley.
In Foundation for Media Professionals v. State (UT OF J&K) matter, where petitioners sought high-speed internet, the Justice Ramana-headed bench balanced the fundamental rights and the concerns of the state security and appointed a special committee to ensure that restrictions, if required, are narrowly tailored and not permanent in nature.
In November 2019, he was also part of a five-judge Constitution bench which held that office of the CJI is a public authority under the Right to Information Act. In November 2019, a bench headed by Justice Ramana had ordered floor test for then Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to prove his majority in the House. The bench had observed that there is a "possibility of horse trading" in case of delay.
A Justice Ramana-headed bench also dealt with a petition seeking timely disposal of criminal cases against former and sitting lawmakers. It directed the Chief Justices of High Courts to submit an action plan for rationalisation of special courts to try these matters.