Bobde Named 47th CJI

President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Justice SA Bobde, the second senior-most judge in the Supreme court after CJI Ranjan Gogoi, as the next Chief Justice of India. Bobde will be the 47th Chief Justice of India. He will hold office till April 23, 2021.

A notification issued by the Law Ministry under Article 124(2) said that the President was pleased to appoint Justice Bobde as the next CJI with effect from Nov 18, 2019. Justice Bobde will be sworn in at the Rashtrapati Bhavan the same day in a low-key ceremony.

CJI designate Bobde will take over at a crucial time when the country would still be coming to grips over the Ayodhya ruling of outgoing CJI Gogoi. Justice Bobde is part of the five judge bench which has reserved its order in the case.

He has spoken up repeatedly during the 40-day hearings in court on the need to bring the bitter acrimony between the two communities to an end.

“We cannot undo what has already happened. But we can put an end to the acrimony, heal the relationship between the two communities,” he had observed during the hearing.

Justice Bobde was also part of the internal committee which gave a clean chit to CJI Gogoi in the alleged sexual harassment case.

Bobde will also get a host of contentious issues such as the NRC, the BCCI and the Sahara case as a worrisome legacy from his predecessor.

CJI Ranjan Gogoi is expected to deliver a series of key rulings in the next week ahead of demitting office. These include the Ayodhya ruling, the Rafale and the Sabarimala reviews.

Gogoi will also rule on contempt petitions filed against Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi in connection with his chowkidar chor hai remarks in the Rafale case.

Though Rahul Gandhi had apologised to the court insisting that he had never attributed these remarks to it and that it was made in the rough and tumble of politics, the court is yet to formally give him a clean chit on the issue.

In Sabarimala, many individuals and cultural outfits have sought a review of a court ruling allowing women in their reproductive phases (from 10 to 50 years) to enter the temple of the bachelor god Ayappa. CJI Gogoi will also rule on that.

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