Written by: Sagar Rana (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)
On 6th April 2021, President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, who is the senior most judge of the Supreme Court, as the 48th Chief Justice of India. Justice NV Ramana will take charge on 24th April 2021 and will be having tenure of one and a half years.
Born into a family of agriculturists in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Justice Ramana, the CJI designate, had a long career journey from student leader working for industrial workers and farmers to journalist for a leading Telugu newspaper to a first generation lawyer. Before joining the field of law, Justice Ramana worked as a journalist for a local newspaper for two years. On February 10 1983, he was registered as an advocate. He has practiced in Central and Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunals, the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, and the Supreme Court of India in Civil, Criminal, Constitutional, Labour, Election and Service matters. He has dedicated his professional interest in Criminal, Constitutional, Inter-State River and Service laws. He has also worked as Panel Counsel for many Government Organizations. He has functioned as Standing Counsel for Railways in the Central Administrative Tribunal at Hyderabad and Additional Standing Counsel for Central Government. He has served as Additional Advocate General of Andhra Pradesh and on 27 June 2000 then became the Judge of Andhra Pradesh High court. He was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court on 2 September 2013 and became a judge in the Supreme Court of India on 17 February 2014.
As a calm minded person, Justice Ramana has given many important, significant and hard-hitting judgments, which includes the ruling on providing 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, where the government had suspended high speed internet services after scrapping the state’s special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Led by him, his bench ruled that “access to internet” is a fundamental right of the citizens found many admirers for him and laurels to the SC.
In another ruling, a bench led by him stated the restriction against grant of bail in a stringent law like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 per-se does not overthrow the ability of Constitutional Courts to grant bail on matters of violation of right to speedy trial which is a fundamental right.
In a major advancement towards transparency, in another significant judgment, Justice Ramana had, brought the office of the Chief Justice of India under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Besides these landmark judgments, He also ruled in favour of conducting a floor test in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, paving the way for an end to the practice of ‘horse trading’ during the 2019 Maharashtra political crisis, when the Shiv Sena, the BJP, and the Indian National Congress and others were trying to form the state government.
Justice Ramana will be facing many challenges ahead, one of which will be filling huge vacancies in judges’ posts in high courts and even in the Supreme Court. Justice Ramana’s main motives are to focus on access to justice for one and all, modernising the functioning of courts by use of technology, improving judicial infrastructure through a special purpose vehicle called the ‘National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation’ to act as a nodal agency and strengthening the justice delivery system with necessary reforms.