Updated: April 24, 2021 6:57:51 pm
Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana was sworn in as the 48th Chief Justice of India on Saturday. Justice Ramana’s will hold the post for sixteen months, until August 26, 2022.
Justice Ramana takes over at a time when the judiciary is going back to a virtual mode, due to the second wave of Covid-19, and is entrusted with ensuring un-interrupted access to justice. As Chairperson of the National Legal Services Authority, Justice Ramana led efforts to ensure training to lawyers and litigants to adapt to e-courts during the pandemic.
Born on August 27, 1957 in Ponnavaram of Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh, Justice Ramana is the youngest of three siblings. His parents Nuthalapati Ganapathi Rao and Sarojini were humble agriculturists. Although he briefly worked as a journalist for Telugu newspaper Eenadu, as a first generation lawyer, he enrolled as an advocate and set up practice in Vijayawada in 1983.
He subsequently moved to Hyderabad and later served as Additional Advocate General of Andhra Pradesh. In June 2000, he was appointed a permanent judge of the AP High Court and in 2014, was elevated to the Supreme Court.
During his tenure in the Supreme Court, Justice Ramana has been a part of many significant rulings, including those on setting up of special courts for fast-tracking criminal cases against MPs and MLAs; bringing the CJI’s office amenable to the Right to Information Act; and, lifting Internet restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.
He has advocated the need to implement regional languages as the language of the court to increase participation of rural litigants in the trial process.
He is one of the few judges who displays his nameplate outside his official residence in Telugu, his mother tongue. Incidentally, Justice Ramana is only the second CJI from Andhra Pradesh after Justice K Subba Rao who was CJI between 1966-67.
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