New Delhi: After presiding over marathon and surcharged hearings in cases like Ayodhya where tempers run high among lawyers, Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde says it doesn't take much for him to de-stress. Justice Bobde, who was part of the five-judge constitution bench which pronounced its judgement on the Ayodhya land dispute on Saturday, was recommended as the next the Chief Justice of India just two days after the completion of arguments.
And just 10 days before the verdict, President Ram Nath Kovind signed the warrant of his appointment as the CJI on October 29. When asked how he unwinds, in an interview to PTI earlier this month, he said, "I forget it the moment I get up from the seat. I simply forget it." Justice Bobde, who will take oath as the next CJI on November 18, was proactively involved in showering questions to the counsel appearing for both the Hindu and Muslim parties to the dispute.
The judge, who will be the 47th CJI, has heard several key cases and hails from a family of lawyers from Maharashtra. He was part of a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court which in August 2017 declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right of an individual.
The 63-year-old judge, who will have a tenure of over 17 months as the CJI before he retires on April 23, 2021, was in the news recently for heading a three-member in-house committee which gave a clean chit to CJI Gogoi on a sexual harassment complaint by a former apex court staffer.
The committee also included justices Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra. Justice Bobde, son of eminent senior advocate Arvind Shriniwas Bobde, has been chosen as the next CJI following the rule of seniority and his name was recommended by Justice Gogoi in a letter to the Centre on October 18.
A nine-judge bench of the apex court headed by the then CJI J S Khehar and which included Justice Bobde had held unanimously that the right to privacy was a constitutionally protected right in India. Justice Bobde was part of the three-judge bench which in 2015 clarified that no citizen of India without an Aadhaar card can be denied basic services and government services.
Recently, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Bobde directed the Committee of Administrators (CoA) headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai, appointed by it for the purpose of running the BCCI administration, to demit office paving the way for elected members to run the affairs of the cricket board.
Born on April 24, 1956 in Maharashtra's Nagpur, Justice Bobde completed Bachelor of Arts and LLB degrees from the Nagpur University. He was enrolled as an advocate at the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978 and practised law at the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court with appearances at Bombay before the Principal Seat and before the Supreme Court for over 21 years.
He was designated as senior advocate in 1998. Justice Bobde was elevated to Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000, as Additional Judge and sworn in as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court on October 16, 2012. He was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court on April 12, 2013.