What is Chief Justice of India ?

Apr 8, 2021 - 16:45

The chief justice of India is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of India as well as the highest-ranking officer of the Indian federal judiciary. The Constitution of India grants power to the President of India to nominate, and with the advice and consent of the Parliament of India, appoint a chief justice, who serves until they reach the age of sixty-five or until removed by impeachment. As head of the Supreme Court, the chief justice is responsible for the allocation of cases and appointment of constitutional benches which deal with important matters of law.[4] In accordance with Article 145 of the Constitution of India and the Supreme Court Rules of Procedure of 1966, the chief justice allocates all work to the other judges who are bound to refer the matter back to him or her (for re-allocation) in any case where they require it to be looked into by a larger bench of more judges. On the administrative side, the chief justice carries out the following functions: maintenance of the roster; appointment of court officials and general and miscellaneous matters relating to the supervision and functioning of the Supreme Court. However, this convention has been broken twice. In 1973, Justice A. N. Ray was appointed superseding 3 senior judges. Also, in 1977 Justice Mirza Hameedullah Beg was appointed as the chief justice superseding Justice Hans Raj Khanna. The 47th and the present chief justice are Sharad Arvind Bobde. and the 48th will be Shri Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana (April 24th 2021).

Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana will be the next Chief Justice of India. He will take over from CJI SA Bobde who demits office on April 23. The law ministry issued a notification on Tuesday which said that the President had formally appointed Justice Ramana as Chief Justice of India from April 24. He will hold office till August 26, 2022.

N.V. Ramana, B.Sc., B.L., was born in an agricultural family on August 27, 1957, in Ponnavaram Village, Krishna District. He enrolled as an Advocate on February 10, 1983. He has practised in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, Central and Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunals and the Supreme Court of India in Civil, Criminal, Constitutional, Labour, Service and Election matters. He has specialized in Constitutional, Criminal, Service and Inter-State River laws. He has also functioned as Panel Counsel for various Government Organizations. He has functioned as Additional Standing Counsel for Central Government and Standing Counsel for Railways in the Central Administrative Tribunal at Hyderabad. He has also functioned as Additional Advocate General of Andhra Pradesh. He was appointed as a Permanent Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on June 27, 2000. He functioned as Acting Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court from March 10, 2013, to May 20, 2013. He had participated in several National and International Conferences held in India and abroad and submitted papers on various topics of legal importance. Elevated as the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court w.e.f. 02.09.2013. Elevated as a Judge, Supreme Court of India w.e.f. 17.02.2014.

Appointment: The chief justice of India is appointed by the President of India on the basis of nomination by other judges of the supreme court.


Article 124(4) of the Constitution of India lays down the procedure for removal of a judge of the Supreme Court which is applicable to chief justices as well. Once appointed, the chief justice remains in the office until the age of 65 years. He can be removed only through a process of removal by Parliament as follows:

A Judge of the Supreme Court shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the President passed after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the President in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.

— Article 124(4), Constitution of India, 

Acting President

The president (Discharge of Functions) Act, 1969 of India provides that the chief justice of India shall act as the president of India in the event of the offices of both the president and the vice president being vacant. When President Zakir Hussain died in office, Vice President V. V. Giri, acted as the president. Later, Mr Giri resigned as the vice president. The chief justice, Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah then became the acting president of India. As per the convention, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court became the acting chief justice. When the newly elected president took office a month later, Justice Hidayatullah reverted as the chief justice of India.

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