President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday administered oath of office to 48th Chief Justice of India Justice N.V. Ramana in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and other dignitaries at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
As the Chief Justice of India, Justice Ramana will have a term till August 26, 2022. Before his elevation to the Supreme Court on February 17, 2014, Justice Ramana was the chief justice of the Delhi High Court. Justice Ramana was appointed as judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2000. He has also been the acting Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh high Court.
On April 6, the President had signed on the appointment of Justice N.V. Ramana as the next Chief Justice of India. Justice Ramana took over as Chief Justice after the retirement of Justice S.A. Bobde on April 23.
In October 2020, a huge controversy had erupted as the Andhra Pradesh chief minister had written to the then Chief Justice alleging state’s High Court was being used to “destabilize and topple his democratically elected government”. The letter alleged that Justice Ramana was trying to control the High Court and also trying to influence cases, which impact the state government. However, an in-house inquiry did not find any merit in these allegations.
Justice Ramana has presided over several high-profile cases in the top court. In March last year, Justice Ramana headed five-judge Constitution bench which declined to refer to a larger seven-judge bench a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision to revoke provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
In Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India, January last year, Justice Ramana expounded on the nature of fundamental rights and declared that the right to freedom of speech and expression over the internet is a fundamental right. This judgment ensured the eventual return of internet in the Kashmir Valley.
In Foundation for Media Professionals v. State (UT OF J&K) matter, where petitioners sought high-speed internet, Justice Ramana headed bench which balanced the fundamental rights and the concerns of the state security and appointed a special committee to ensure that restrictions, if required, are narrowly tailored and not permanent in nature.
Justice Ramana also headed a three-judge bench which dealt with the legal questions emerging from the resignation of 17 rebel MLAs of Congress and JDS of Karnataka. Justice Ramana headed bench, also ordered expediting trial in pending cases against former and sitting MPs and MLAs.