Justice SA Bobde to become eighth Chief Justice of India hailing from Bombay High Court
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Justice SA Bobde to become eighth Chief Justice of India hailing from Bombay High Court

Omkar Gokhale

Justice SA Bobde, who will take oath as the forty-seventh (47th) Chief Justice of India today, will become the eighth (8th) CJI whose parent high court is the Bombay High Court.

On October 29, President of India Ramnath Kovind signed the warrant appointing Justice SA Bobde as the next Chief Justice of India. CJI Ranjan Gogoi retired yesterday on November 17.

The previous seven judges who started their careers in the higher judiciary from the Bombay High Court and went on to become CJI are shown in the table below:

Chief Justice of IndiaTenure as CJI
Justice HJ Kania  January 26, 1950- November 6, 1951
Justice PB Gajendragadkar  February 1, 1964- March 15, 1966
Justice JC Shah  December 17, 1970 – January 21, 1971
Justice YV Chandrachud   February 22, 1978- July 11, 1985
Justice MH Kania   December 13, 1991 – November 17, 1992
Justice SP Bharucha   November 1, 2001 – May 5, 2002
Justice SH Kapadia   May 12, 2010 – September 28, 2012

Justice RM Lodha, who was a Bombay High Court judge for over a decade on transfer from his parent high court, the Rajasthan High Court, also served as the forty-first (41st) Chief Justice of India.

Earlier, Justice PN Bhagwati, who became the seventeenth CJI, began his career practicing at the Bombay High Court, before he was appointed as a judge of the Gujarat High Court.

Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah, who went on to become the eleventh CJI and acting President of India, was appointed as a judge of the Nagpur High Court in 1946 and later elevated as the Chief Justice of the Nagpur High Court in 1954. Justice Hidayatullah was then appointed as the Chief Justice of newly formed Madhya Pradesh High Court in 1956, before he was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court in 1958.

The Nagpur High Court existed separately for the erstwhile Central Provinces and Berar. However, it was made a Bench of Bombay High Court from November 1, 1956 as eight Marathi speaking districts of Vidarbha formed part of the State of Bombay.

Notably, the Apex Court is likely to see another Chief Justice coming from the Bombay High Court in the near future. When Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud is appointed as CJI on November 9, 2022 (on the basis of seniority), he and his father Justice YV Chandrachud will have become the only father-son CJI duo.

CJI designate Justice SA Bobde was born in Nagpur on April 24, 1956 and studied law from Nagpur University. The son of former Maharashtra Advocate General Arvind Bobde and brother of veteran lawyer Vinod Bobde, who passed away in 2016, Justice Bobde was enrolled with the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978. He practiced at the Nagpur Bench and made appearances at the Principal Bench at Bombay, before practicing at the Supreme Court of India for over 21 years. He was designated as Senior Advocate in 1998.

Justice Bobde was elevated as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court in 2000, before being appointed as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in October, 2012. Subsequently, he was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court in April 2013.

He will serve as Chief Justice of India from November 18, 2019 till April 23, 2021.

President of India Ramnath Kovind will administer the oath of office to Justice Bobde on November 18.

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