Chief Justice of India Current Affairs - 2019

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SC Verdict: CJI Office under RTI act

On November 13, 2019, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 judgement of Delhi High Court that the RTI (Right To Information) act was applicable to the office of CJI (Chief Justice of India) as well.

Key Findings of the Judgement

  • The CJI office and the SC are not two different public authorities. Under Article 124, SC includes office of CJI and the other judges as well
  • The relationship between the CJI and the judges would neither be fiduciary nor be beneficial.
  • The judgement said that under Section 6(2) of the act, the motive of the seeker of information is not a relevant consideration.
  • The Public Information Officer has vast discretion under the RTI act. The PIO should make sure judicial independence and accountability are well maintained as they go hand in hand. It is important for the SC to maintain confidentiality in certain aspects of judicial administration.

Background

In 2010, the CIC (Central Information Commission) ordered the SC CPIOs (Central Public Information Officer) to provide information on personal assets possessed by the judges of SC. The order was challenged at the Delhi HC to which it ruled that SC and CJI have statutory duty to furnish information regarding administration and functioning of the SC.

Appeals were filed to SC on HC verdict in 2010. Though filed in 2010, it was heard and referred to a Constitution bench only in 2016 and the judgement was pronounced now.

Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde appointed as 47th Chief Justice of India

Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde (aged 63) was appointed as 47th Chief Justice of India (CJI). His Warrant of Appointment was signed by President Ram Nath Kovind under Article 124 of the Constitution of India. He will take oath as the next head of the Indian judiciary on 18 November 2019, a day after incumbent Ranjan Gogoi demits office. His tenure will be of total 17 months and will be demitting office on 23 April 2021. Being senior most judge, his name was recommended by incumbent CJI Gogoi as per the established procedure.

About Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde

He was born in Nagour Maharashtra on 24 April, 1955. He had studied in Nagour University. He comes from family of lawyers. His father Arvind Bobde was advocate-general of Maharashtra and his elder brother late Vinod Arvind Bobde a renowned senior advocate of Supreme Court.

He was enrolled as an advocate of the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978. He had practised law at Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court with appearances at Bombay before Principal Seat and before Supreme Court for over 21 years. He was designated as senior advocate in 1998.

He was elevated to Bombay High Court in March 2000, as Additional Judge. He was sworn in as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court in October 2012. He was elevated as a judge of Supreme Court on April 2013.