President Ram Nath Kovind has already appointed NV Ramanna as the next CJI. NV Ramanna will replace CJI SA Bobde. His term will begin on April 24. In the meantime, CJI SA Bobde did not cancel the collegium on Thursday to appoint a judge to the SC.
Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde. Source- NEWS 18
Appointment of next CJI
The President Of India officially appointed Justice Ramanna as the next CJI on April 6. CJI SA Bobde retires on April 23. NV Ramanna's oath-taking is scheduled for the very next day.
Conventionally, once the President appoints the CJI to designate all files get through the next CJI. The incumbent CJI refrains to hold collegium meetings. Usually, they do not further recommend the appointment of judges to the SC or HCs.
CJI SA Bobde's call for collegium
Despite the official appointment, CJI SA Bobde has made an unprecedented move. He did not cancel the collegium on Thursday. In this meeting, he will recommend the names of the Supreme Court Judges. People who are familiar with the development said that this goes beyond convention. The President of India has already issued the appointment of the next CJI. Hence, it would not be appropriate for the incumbent CJI to make any recommendations.
A five-member committee of judges will be present in the collegium. They will recommend judges to the SC. Among the five judges, there are Justice Bobde and Justice Ramanna. There are also Justices Rohinton Nariman, UU Lalit, and AM Khanwilkar.
The recommendation of Anil Kureshi, the Chief Justice of the Tripura HC to the apex court, was an impasse. CJI Bobde called the collegium in the backdrop of this incident. They recommended Kureshi to the apex court even though the appointment of six SC judges was still due. Along with CJI Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Nariman, and Navin Sinha will retire this year.
The CJIs make recommendations for appointments in the High Court. They can recommend despite the designation of the next most senior judge as CJI. The CJI and the two most senior judges are the three-member committee of the collegium for the HCs. The previous two CJIs- Ranjan Gogoi and Dipak Misra, had also made recommendations for the high courts.
CJI SA Bobde called for the collegium on Thursday, just before two weeks of his retirement. It suggests that he would not leave his position without recommending a single judge to SC. Even though he has called for this meeting, there is no guarantee whether it will be helpful. The Union Government might not make any further changes.
If the Union Government does not accept the recommendation, CJI Bobde will retire as the only CJI without appointing any judge to the SC.