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Born in a Farmer’s Family Justice N V Ramana to be the Next CJI

Born in a Farmer’s Family Justice N V Ramana to be the Next CJI

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NEW DELHI, Apr 6: Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana was on Tuesday appointed the 48th Chief Justice of India (CJI) by President Ram Nath Kovind. He will be sworn-in as the CJI on April 24 and will have about 14 months stint till August 26, 2022.

Outgoing CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde, who is retiring on April 23, recommended Justice Ramana’s name as his preferred successor, which the President duly accepted.

Justice Ramana’s nearly four-decade-long career in law has seen him practising in at least two high courts, the Supreme Court, a number of administrative tribunals, and panel counsel of various government organisations, specialising in constitutional, criminal, service and inter-state river laws. He also served as the acting chief justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court and the chief justice of Delhi High Court, before being elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court of India.

NV Ramana was born in an agricultural family on August 27, 1957, at the Ponnavaram village in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district. Before becoming a full-fledged lawyer Ramana worked as a journalist for a leading Telugu newspaper for a brief time. He enrolled as an advocate in 1983 and practised in the high court of Andhra Pradesh, Central and Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunals and the Supreme Court of India in civil, criminal, constitutional, labour, service and election-related matters.

Later, Justice Ramana worked as the additional standing counsel for the central government, the standing counsel for the Indian Railways in the Central Administrative Tribunal at Hyderabad, and the additional advocate general of Andhra Pradesh. In the summer of 2000, he was appointed as a permanent judge of Andhra Pradesh High Court, where he held his post before serving as the acting chief justice for two months in 2013. He was transferred to Delhi as its chief justice before he was elevated to the Supreme Court later that year.

Justice Ramana has been a judge in the Supreme Court since February 17, 2014. He has also served as the executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) since November 27, 2019.

As a Supreme Court judge, Justice Ramana rendered many major judgments, chief of which was bringing an end to a year-long internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir in 2020 after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in August 2019.

In a major breakthrough for transparency, Justice Ramana had, in another significant judgment, brought the office of the Chief Justice of India under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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