New Delhi: Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, who would take oath as the 47th Chief Justice of India on Monday, has decided several key cases and was part of the recent historic verdict that cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
Justice Bobde, 63, who would succeed CJI Ranjan Gogoi, would prefer a conservative approach on the issue of disclosing the collegium’s entire deliberations on rejection of names for appointment in the higher judiciary.
The CJI-designate, in an interview to PTI, had said that people’s reputation cannot be sacrificed just to satisfy the desire of citizens to know.
On the issue of huge vacancies of judges in courts across the country and lack of judicial infrastructure, Justice Bobde wishes to take to the “logical end” the steps taken by his predecessor CJI Gogoi.
Justice Gogoi had taken note of vacancies and lack of infrastructure in courts and has been monitoring them by issuing directions to all states and respective high courts to do the needful.
A five-judge Constitution Bench, of which Justice Bobde was also a part, rendered a unanimous verdict to put the curtains down on the vexatious Ayodhya land dispute which was pending in courts since 1950.
A nine-judge bench of the apex court headed by the then CJI J.S. Khehar and which included Justice Bobde held unanimously in August 2017 that the Right to Privacy was a constitutionally protected fundamental right in India.
Justice Bobde will have a tenure of over 17 months as the CJI and is due to retire on April 23, 2021.
Hailing from a family of lawyers from Maharashtra, he is the son of eminent senior advocate Arvind Shriniwas Bobde.
Justice Bobde has been chosen following the rule of seniority and his name was recommended by Justice Gogoi in a letter to the Centre. His “Warrant of Appointment” was signed by President Ram Nath Kovind following which the law ministry issued a notification naming the judge as the next head of the Indian judiciary.
Justice Bobde also headed a three-member in-house committee which gave a clean chit to CJI Gogoi on a sexual harassment complaint against him by a former apex court staffer.