President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday administered the oath of office to the 48th Chief Justice of India Justice NV Ramana in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and other dignitaries at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
As the Chief Justice of India, Justice Ramana will have a term till August 26, 2022. Before his elevation to the Supreme Court on February 17, 2014, Justice Ramana was the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. Justice Ramana was appointed as judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2000. He has also been the acting Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
On April 6, the President had signed on the appointment of Justice NV Ramana as the next Chief Justice of India. Justice Ramana took over as Chief Justice after the retirement of Justice SA Bobde on April 23.
In October 2020, a huge controversy had erupted as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had written to the then Chief Justice alleging that the state's High Court was being used to "destabilise and topple his democratically elected government". The letter alleged that Justice Ramana was trying to control the High Court and also trying to influence cases, which impacted the state government. However, an in-house inquiry did not find any merit in these allegations.
Justice Ramana has presided over several high-profile cases in the top court. In March last year, Justice Ramana 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 Union governmentâ€™s decision to revoke provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
In Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India in 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 the internet in the Kashmir valley. Justice Ramana also headed a three-judge bench which dealt with the legal questions emerging from the resignation of 17 rebel MLAs of Congress and JD(S) of Karnataka. A bench headed by Justice Ramana also ordered expediting trial in pending cases against former and sitting MPs and MLAs.