With a little over a month left before Chief Justice of India SA Bobde retires, the government has started the process of appointment of next CJI, asking the incumbent to recommend his successor, sources said Saturday.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Friday sent a letter to Justice Bobde, who is set to retire on April 23, seeking his recommendation, the sources said.
As per the Memorandum of Procedure governing 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 would, at an appropriate time, seek the recommendation of the outgoing Chief Justice of India for the appointment of the next CJI.
Under this process, after receipt of the recommendation of the CJI, the Law Minister puts it before the Prime Minister who advises the President in the matter of appointment.
“Whenever there is any doubt about the fitness of the senior-most Judge to hold the office of the Chief Justice of India, consultation with other Judges…would be made for appointment of the next Chief Justice of India,” the document states.
Justice NV Ramana is the senior-most judge in the top court after the CJI.
Born on August 27, 1957, justice Ramana has a tenure till August 26, 2022.