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Pendency, listing of cases an issue, says Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on last day in office

NV Ramana took over as the 48th Chief Justice of India in April 2021 and is demitting office after a tenure of 16 months.

August 26, 2022 / 12:08 PM IST
Chief Justice of India NV Ramana

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana

The 48th Chief Justice of India NV Ramana demits office today after a tenure of 16 months as the top judge of the country.

On his last day in office, the CJI touched upon critical issues of mounting pendency and timely listing of cases that affects the courts.

"I admit that listing and posting of matters in a timely manner is something I could not pay more attention to, and for that I am sorry," Ramana said, adding that the COVID-19 emergency meant keeping the courts going remained top priority.

The outgoing CJI also stressed the need for incorporating technology into the system for reforms while noting that the needs of the judiciary are vastly different from commercial establishments and need to be handled differently.

After a brief address in open court, Ramana said, "I am not the last or the first to contribute to the institution... I did my bit to the best of my ability."

The proceedings in CJI's courtroom in the Supreme Court were telecast live on a webcast link published by the top court today. This is the first time proceedings from the Supreme Court were live-streamed.

As protocol, a judge who is retiring from the Supreme Court sits as part of a ceremonial bench. Accompanying Ramana on the ceremonial bench were judge UU Lalit, who is next in line to take charge as CJI, and judge Hima Kohli.

Following the scheduled hearings for the day, the members of the bar bid their adieu to the CJI.

Attorney General for India KK Venugopal commended Ramana for the large number of judicial vacancies filled during his time at the country's top court. "We are losing an intellectual and excellent judge," Venugopal said.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that the CJI maintained a fine balance even during the "turbulent times" we are going through right now. "You called on the government to give answers... and collaborated with everyone," Sibal added.

Senior advocates Dushyant Dave and Vikas Singh lauded Ramana for taking steps for protection of constitutional rights of the citizens while Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta thanked the CJI for being an excellent head of the judicial family.

Senior advocate Vibha Datta Makhija added that the CJI did "stellar work for the women members of the bar".

Ramana took charge as the top judge on April 24, 2021. He was elevated to a judge in the Supreme Court in February 2014 before which he served as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. Ramana had been appointed permanent judge at the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2000.

The CJI had a brief stint as a journalist before he entered the profession of legal practice and subsequently judicial service.

Shruti Mahajan
first published: Aug 26, 2022 12:08 pm