Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, currently second in seniority in the Supreme Court, will be India’s new Chief Justice, heading the highest judicial court of the country.
A judge since 2000, he joined the Bombay High Court as an additional judge. He was nominated by the 39th Chief Justice Altamas Kabir as the Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice in October 2012. In April 2013, he was elevated to Supreme Court by Kabir.
Bobde will take over the highest office of the Indian judiciary as the 47th Chief Justice of the country, replacing Ranjan Gogoi. On 18 October, Gogoi wrote to the Ministry of Law and Justice recommending Bopde as his successor.
Justice Bobde commands immense respect from his peers and others. It was for this reason that he was made part of the in-house panel handling one of the most controversial cases in the history of the Supreme Court — that of allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice Gogoi. Following several closed doors hearings the in-house panel headed by Justice Bobde gave a clean chit to Gogoi, saying ‘no substance’ was found in the accusations levelled against the CJI by a former employee.
Bobde has been also credited with the judgement where the apex court ruled that the lack of Aadhaar was not grounds to deprive any Indian citizen of basic services and government subsides.
Justice Bobde is also part of the five-judge constitution bench which just concluded hearing the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, the verdict for which is awaited and which is also one of the most crucial cases of the county.
With eight years in the top most judicial body of the country, Bobde has quite a few landmark cases in his kitty. In 2017 as part of apex court bench, along with Justice L. Nageswara Rao, he rejected the petition of a woman who sought termination of her foetus.
In an another judgment in 2016, he suspended the sales of fire crackers in the national capital region on grounds of extreme air pollution.
The 63-year old Bobde was born in Nagour Maharashtra on 24 April, 1955, and studied in Nagour University. He comes from a family of lawyers. His father Arvind Bobde was the advocate-general of Maharashtra and his elder brother late Vinod Arvind Bobde a renowned senior advocate of Supreme Court.
While Gogoi demit the office of Chief Justice of India on 17 November, Bobde will take oath of office on 18 November. He term will end on 23 April, 2021.