Justice BV Nagarathna, a possible candidate to be the first woman Chief Justice of India (CJI) will have a very short tenure as CJI even if her name is cleared by the Central government for appointment to the top court..As per the present permutations, Justice Nagarathna's tenure as CJI will last only for a month and five days or 36 days to be precise, if all the nine names recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium for appointment to top court are cleared by the Central government..The Collegium on August 17 recommended nine persons for appointment as judges of the top court.Eight of them are High Court judges/ Chief Justices while one is a Senior Advocate practicing before the Supreme Court.Three of the nine are women judges – Justices Hima Kohli, BV Nagarathna and Bela Trivedi.What is most pertinent, however, is that if all nine recommendations go through, then three of the nine will adorn the post of Chief Justice of India.Most importantly, it would also mean India will get its first woman CJI – Justice BV Nagarathna..Let us take a look at the permutations and combinations.CJI is determined based on seniority and seniority is based on the day on which a judge is sworn in as Supreme Court judge.What if two or more judges are appointed on the same day?The seniority is then determined based on the sequence of swearing-in which itself is decided based on the years of experience at the High court.If the experience at the High Court is also same, the date of appointment as Chief Justice of High Court could be a relevant factor..Currently, the CJI list up until February 9, 2027 are clear.Justice NV Ramana is presently occupying the post. He will hold the post till August 26, 2022.The following are other judges who are next in queue.Justice UU Lalit - August 27, 2022 to November 8, 2022.Justice DY Chandrachud - November 9, 2022 to November 10, 2024Justice Sanjiv Khanna - November 11, 2024 to May 13, 2025Justice BR Gavai – May 14, 2025 to November 23, 2025Justice Surya Kant – November 24, 2025 to February 9, 2027.After the retirement of Justice Surya Kant, the line of CJIs will be clear only once the current set of recommendations are cleared.If all the nine names recommended by the Collegium are cleared by the Collegium, there will be only three among those who will come to occupy the post of CJI. They are Justices Vikram Nath, BV Nagarathna and Senior Advocate PS Narasimha.This is because out of the six remaining candidates, five (Justices AS Oka, Hima Kohli, JK Maheshwari, CT Ravikumar, and Bela Trivedi) will retire before Justice Surya Kant demits office, thus ruling them out.One of them Justice MM Sundresh will retire only on July 10, 2027. However, he will not be the CJI since he is below Justice Vikram Nath in seniority (Justice Nath became a High Court judge in 2004 while Justice Sundresh became a High Court judge only in 2009)..Justice Vikram Nath will, therefore, occupy the post from February 10, 2027 to September 23, 2027. By then, Justice Sundresh will retire.Hence, next in line will be Justice BV Nagarathna. She will occupy the post for 36 days from September 24, 2027 to October 29, 2027.However, if the government does not clear Justice Vikram Nath's candidature but clears Justice Nagarathna, she will get a longer tenure from February 10, 2027 to October 29, 2027. After she retires, PS Narasimha will hold the post. He will have a substantially longer tenure from October 30, 2027 to May 2028.Narasimha will be the third person directly elevated from the Bar, to hold the post of CJI. The first was Justice SM Sikri way back in early 1970s. The second would be Justice UU Lalit who will be CJI August 27, 2022 to November 8, 2022.