Justice NV Ramana has been appointed as the next Chief Justice of India by President Ram Nath Kovind. He will take oath on April 24.
Last month, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, who is due to retire on April 23, had recommended Justice Ramana as his successor, in a letter addressed to the Ministry of Law and Justice on March 24.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution. The President is pleased to appoint Sri. Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India with effect from April 24, 2021,” the Ministry of Law and Justice notification said.
Born in an agricultural family in Andhra Pradesh's Krishna district on August 27, 1957, Justice Ramana will be the country's top judge for a year and four months, till August 26, 2022.
He will be the second Chief Justice of India from Andhra Pradesh; Justice K Subba Rao was the ninth Chief Justice of India from 1966-67.
On the day Chief Justice Bobde recommended Justice Ramana as top judge, the Supreme Court had issued a short statement informing the dismissal of a complaint filed by Andhra Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy involving Justice Ramana.
Reddy had complained that Justice Ramana was influencing the Andhra High Court judiciary to destabilise his government. The complaint had been sent shortly after a Bench led by Justice Ramana started hearing and fast-tracking hundreds of criminal cases against Ministers, legislators and politicians pending in trial courts across the country. Reddy is himself named in several criminal cases.
In his nearly four-decade-long career, Justice Ramana "has practiced 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 specialisation in constitutional, criminal service and inter-state river laws," as per his profile on the official website of the Supreme Court.
Justice Ramana, 63, was part of a bench that ruled that suspension of Internet in Jammu and Kashmir should be reviewed immediately. He was also part of the panel of judges which held that the Chief Justice's office comes under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Justice Bobde, who has been part of several key cases including the historic Ayodhya verdict, was sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India in November 2019, succeeding Justice (retired) Ranjan Gogoi. The Ayodhya verdict had cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple, ending decades-old dispute.