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Explained: Who is Sharad Arvind Bobde, the new Chief Justice of India?

Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde's tenure as Chief Justice of India will last for 17 months and he is due to retire in April 2021.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 29, 2019 7:51:50 pm
Meet Sharad Arvind Bobde, the new Chief Justice of India Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S A Bobde in New Delhi. (PTI Photo: Kamal Singh)

On October 29, President of India Ramnath Kovind formally announced that Sharad Arvind Bobde will be India’s next CJI. Justice Bobde will take oath on November 18 after the incumbent CJI Ranjan Gogoi retires from office.

Justice Bobde has been chosen following the rule of seniority and his name was recommended by CJI Gogoi in a letter to the Centre.

Justice Bobde will be India’s 47th CJI but only the second one from Maharashtra’s Nagpur region; the first one was CJI Mohammad Hidayatullah. Justice Bobde’s tenure as CJI will last for 17 months and he is due to retire in April 2021.

Explained: Who is Justice S A Bobde?

Bobde was born in 1956 in Nagpur and hails from a family of lawyers.

His father, Arvind Shriniwas Bobde, was a two-time advocate general of the Maharashtra government — first in 1980 by then Congress chief minister A R Antulay and the second time in 1985 by a subsequent Congress government.

Justice Bobde’s brother Vinod Bobde was a constitutional lawyer as well.

Justice S A Bobde’s career: A timeline

In 1998, he was designated a senior advocate. By 2000, he was appointed as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court. He had a practice of over 21 years and was involved in several high-stakes cases including the Adarsh housing society scam and the PIL against Lavasa Corporation Limited.

In 2012, he was sworn in as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.

In 2013, he was elevated to the Supreme Court of India.

In the Supreme Court, Justice Bobde has heard several key cases such as the nine-judge Bench that declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right of an individual in 2017. He is also part of the Ayodhya-Janmabhoomi case on which that apex court under the leadership of Justice Gogoi is expected to deliver the final verdict before November 17.

Justice Bobde is also part of the three-judge Bench along with CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Fali Nariman that is hearing the National Registry of Citizenship case.

In the past, Justice Bobde was part of the two-judge Bench that upheld the Karnataka government’s ban of a book on the grounds that it outraged the religious feelings of Lord Basavanna’s followers.

He had also played a key role in settling the differences between CJI Dipak Misra and the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court at that time (January 2018) – Justices Gogoi, Chelameswar, Lokur and Joseph.

Justice Bobde was also chosen (alongside Justices Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra) by the full court to look into allegations of sexual harassment against current CJI Gogoi.

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