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Chief Justice of India-Judicial Appointment

Chief Justice of India-Judicial Appointment

CONTEXT:

  • President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Justice N.V. Ramana as the 48th Chief Justice of India with effect from April 24.

Few details about justice N.V. Ramana:

  • He belongs from state of Andhra Pradesh.

  • He was Additional Advocate General for Andhra Pradesh before being called to the State High Court Bench in 2001.

  • Justice Ramana was the Delhi High Court Chief Justice prior to his elevation to the top court.

APPOINTMENT OF N.V. RAMANA AS CJI:

  • As CJI, Justice Ramana will have a tenure of 16 months.

  • The incumbent CJI Sharad A. Bobde had recommended Justice Ramana, the senior most judge, for appointment as the 48th Chief Justice of India in a letter addressed to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

  • Article 124: Under article 124 (2), President is pleased to appoint Sri. N.V. Ramana, to be the Chief Justice of India, the Ministry of Law and Justice said in a notification.

  • Seniority norm: With this, both the Supreme Court and the government have followed the seniority norm in the appointment of CJIs.

APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA:

  • Article 124 of the Constitution: Manner of appointing judges to the Supreme Court (SC).

  • No specific provision in the Constitution for appointing the Chief Justice.

  • CJI should be the senior most judge of the Supreme Court (SC). Law Minister has to seek recommendation of the outgoing CJI for appointment of new CJI at an appropriate time.

  • In case of doubt: About the fitness of the senior-most Judge to hold office of CJI consultation with other Judges under Article 124(2) to be made.

  • Law Minister then puts up recommendation to Prime Minister (PM) who will advise the President on appointment.

  • Seniority: At the apex court is determined not by age, but by the date a judge was appointed to the SC.

If two judges are elevated to the Supreme Court on the same day,

  1. The one who was sworn in first as a judge would trump another;

  2. If both were sworn in as judges on the same day, the one with more years of high court service would ‘win’ in the seniority stakes;

  3. An appointment from the bench would ‘trump’ in seniority an appointee from the bar.

TENURE:

  • Once appointed, the Chief Justice remains in office until the age of 65 years.

  • Removal: Article 124(4) of Constitution of India provides that a SC Judge including CJI can be removed only through a process of impeachment by Parliament

SOURCE: The Hindu