Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court, has been recommended as the next top judge by the current Chief Justice of India, Sharad Arvind Bobde.

  • Justice N.V. Ramana will take over as the 48th Chief Justice of India from 24th April 2021. He would be the Chief Justice of India till 26th August, 2022.
  • Appointment of the Chief Justice of India
    • Chief Justice of India and Judges of the Supreme Court of India are appointed by the President under clause (2) of Article 124 of the Indian Constitution.
    • As far as the Chief Justice of India is concerned, the outgoing CJI recommends his successor.
      • The Union Law Minister forwards the recommendation to the Prime Minister who, in turn, advises the President.
    • Supreme Court in the Second Judges Case (1993), ruled that the senior most judge of the Supreme Court should alone be appointed to the office of the Chief Justice of India.
    • The Supreme Court collegium is headed by the Chief Justice of India and comprises four other senior most judges of the court.
      • The collegium system is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court (Judges Cases), and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.
  • Administrative Powers of CJI (Master of Roster):
    • It is common to refer to the office as primus inter pares – first amongst equals.
    • Besides his adjudicatory role, the Chief Justice of India also plays the role of the administrative head of the Court.
    • In his administrative capacity, the CJI exercises the prerogative of allocating cases to particular benches.
    • Chief Justice also decides the number of judges that will hear a case.
      • Thus, he can influence the result by simply choosing judges that he thinks may favour a particular outcome.
    • Such administrative powers can be exercised without collegial consensus, and without any stated reasons.
  • Recent Development
    • In the year 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that the office of Chief Justice of India comes under the purview of the Right to Information Act of 2005.

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