With a little over a month left for his retirement, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde has officially recommended Justice NV Ramana as his successor, Bar and Bench reported. Justice Bobde has sent in his recommendation to the Union government. Justice Ramana is expected to take over as Chief Justice of India on April 24, with Justice Bobde retiring on April 23. Earlier on Friday, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Friday sent a letter to CJI Bobde seeking his official recommendation, according to PTI.
Justice NV Ramana is the second senior-most judge in the Supreme Court after the CJI. Born on August 27, 1957, Justice Ramana will have a tenure of nearly 16 months as the CJI before he retires on August 26, 2022.
As per the Memorandum of Procedure governing 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 on 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 the appointment of the next Chief Justice of India," the document states.
Earlier in October, in an unprecedented and controversial move, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy in a letter to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had made serious allegations against Justice Ramana. Chief Minister Jagan had alleged that Justice Ramana has been “influencing” the functioning of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, to act in favour of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
With PTI inputs