President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday appointed Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI).
Justice Bobde, 63, hails from Maharashtra. His father, Arvind Bobde, was the advocate-general of Maharashtra while his brother has served in the Supreme Court.
Justice Bobde has been a judge for nearly two decades since he joined the Bombay High Court as an additional judge. In 2012, he was appointed as Madhya Pradesh Chief Justice. In April 2013, he was further elevated to Supreme Court.
When allegations of sexual harassment were levelled against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi by a former employee, it was Justice Bobde, a member of the in-house panel constituted to look into the allegations, who handled this most controversial case in the history of the Supreme Court.
After multiple closed-door hearings, Justice Bobde gave a clean chit to CJI Gogoi, saying no substance was found in the allegations levelled against him.
Justice Bobde's appointment as the next CJI comes after Ranjan Gogoi, who is demitting office on November 17, wrote to the Law Ministry and recommended him as his successor.
Justice Bobde has been in the Supreme Court for eight years and he has some of the landmark judgments in his record. Currently, he is part of the 5-judge bench that recently concluded the hearing on Ayodhya land dispute. The verdict is expected to be announced by November 17.
In a landmark judgment, Justice Bobde in 2016 banned the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi keeping in view the deteriorating air quality.
It was Justice Bobde again who, in a landmark judgment, said that lack of Aadhaar cannot be grounds to deprive a citizen of basic facilities.