Justice Ranjan Gogoi appointed new CJI
14 September 2018
Justice Ranjan Gogoi has been appointed the 46th Chief Justice of India to succeed incumbent Dipak Misra who retires on 2 October. Justice Gogoi will assume office on 3 October after incumbent Dipak Misra retires. He will have a tenure of a little over 13 months and retire on 17 November 2019.
A notification announcing his appointment was issued after President Ramnath Kovind signed warrants of appointment of Justice Gogoi.
Born on November 18, 1954, Justice Gogoi was enrolled as an advocate in 1978. He practised in the Gauhati High Court on constitutional, taxation and company matters.
He was appointed as a permanent judge of the Gauhati High Court on February 28, 2001.
On September 9, 2010, he was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He was appointed as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court on February 12, 2011 and then a judge of the Supreme Court on April 23, 2012.
Justice Misra had earlier this month recommended Justice Gogoi as his successor as per established practice of naming the senior-most judge after the CJI for the post.
The incumbent Justice Misra had on September 4 recommended Justice Gogoi as his successor as per established practice of naming the senior-most judge after the CJI for the post.
Interestingly, Gogoi was one of the four most senior judges, including Justice Gogoi, who called a press conference in January and criticised Justice Misra on various issues, especially the manner of allocation of cases to certain benches.
Justices J Chelameswar (since retired), Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph were the others who addressed the press conference, perhaps a first in the history of the Indian judiciary.
According to the Memorandum of Procedure, which governs the appointment of members of the higher judiciary, “appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of India should be of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office“.
It stipulates that the law minister will, at an appropriate time, seek the recommendation of the outgoing chief justice of India for the appointment of a successor.
Under this process, after receiving the CJI’s recommendation, the law minister puts it before the prime minister who advises the president on the matter.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had recently said the government will follow the routine procedure for the appointment of the next chief justice of India and that it would take a call when the incumbent names the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court as his successor.
Responding to a question at the law ministry’s annual press conference, Prasad said, “The question is imaginary...as far as the appointment of the Chief Justice of India is concerned, the convention is clear...the sitting chief justice names the senior-most judge (of the top court) as his successor. When the name comes to us, we will discuss it.”