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Who will be the next Chief Justices of India? There's a clear line of succession

With the Supreme Court functioning at the strength of 30 judges, including the Chief Justice of India as on August 27, the expected line of succession of coming nine CJIs can be safely ascertained, provided that the rule of seniority is followed.

August 27, 2022 / 06:37 AM IST
The Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court will see two Chief Justices within one year, thanks to an established protocol where the seniormost judge assumes the post when the incumbent retires.

With the 48th Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana demitting office on August 26, Justice UU Lalit will take oath as the 49th Chief Justice of India, albeit for a short tenure.

Justice UU Lalit's tenure is ending in November this year, after which the charge would be passed on to Justice DY Chandrachud, who will helm the country's top court for two years.

As per the protocol, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court is appointed the Chief Justice of India, and all judges of the Supreme Court retire at the age of 65. As such, there is no fixed tenure for the post of CJI, which depends on the date of superannuation of a judge.

It is because of this rule that sometimes CJIs see tenures as long as two years as is going to be the case with Justice Chandrachud or as short as over two months like with Justice Lalit.

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With the Supreme Court functioning at the strength of 30 judges, including the CJI, as on August 27, the expected line of succession of coming nine CJIs can be safely ascertained, provided that the rule of seniority is followed.

Chief Justices of India r2

Justice Lalit will be the second judge directly elevated from the bar to be appointed the CJI. Justice Chandrachud was appointed a judge at the Bombay High Court and served as the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court before being elevated to the Supreme Court.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna is expected to assume charge as the 51st CJI in November 2024 and will have a tenure of six months. Justice Khanna was appointed a judge at the Delhi High Court and elevated to the Supreme Court in January 2019.

Justice BR Gavai will succeed Justice Khanna and have a tenure of over six months. He served as a judge at the Bombay High Court before his elevation to the Supreme Court in May 2019.

Justice Surya Kant will follow Justice Gavai and have a tenure of little over 14 months. He was the chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court before his elevation to the Supreme Court. His parent high court is Punjab & Haryana High Court.

Thereafter, Justices Vikram Nath, BV Nagarathna, PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala are in line to take on the charge of CJI, in that order.

Justice BV Nagarathna will be the first woman to be appointed CJI and have a very short tenure of just 36 days.

 

 
Shruti Mahajan
first published: Aug 27, 2022 06:37 am
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