President Pranab Mukherjee appointed Justice T.S. Thakur as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI) on Wednesday.
The Hindu reports that H L Dattu who is due to retire on December 2 this year had recommended the name of Thakur as his successor.
Thakur is the senior most judge in the Supreme Court currently and will take over from Dattu, following the conventional practice of the successor being named by the outgoing CJI. It is only after this that the Law Ministry clears his name, to be approved by the PM's Office and finally the President.
Thakur was born on January 4, 1952 and enrolled as a Pleader in 1972 before becoming an advocate in Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Later he went on to become Additional Judge of the High Court of J&K in 1994 before briefly being designated as a Senior Advocate in 1990. Later, he served as a judge in Karnataka and Delhi HC. He was made a Supreme Court judge in 2009 after he acted as the Chief Justice (CJ) of Delhi for a brief period, before being appointed as the CJ of Punjab and Haryana in 2008.
The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act 2014 was set to replace the collegium system for appointment of judges in the country, but was struck down by the Supreme Court of India in October 2015.
However, a five-judge bench led by Justice J.S. Khehar is in the process of hearing suggestions to fix the eligibility criteria for judicial appointments in an effort to make the collegium system more transparent following NJAC’s rejection.