New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Justice SA Bobde has recommended senior-most Supreme Court judge Justice N V Ramana as his successor in keeping with convention and norms of seniority, according to sources on Wednesday.
The CJI's recommendation to the union government also came on the day when the Supreme Court made public its decision to dismiss a complaint of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy against Justice Ramana after giving the matter "due consideration".
Justice Bobde, who is due to retire on April 23, has sent the recommendation to the Law and Justice Ministry, and handed over a copy to Justice Ramana, the sources said.
As per norms, a written communication from the incumbent Chief Justice is sent a month before his retirement.
If the recommendation is approved by the government, Justice Ramana will take charge as the 48th Chief Justice of India on April 24. Justice Ramana is due to retire on August 26, 2022.
Justice Bobde's recommendation marks the start of the process for appointment of the next CJI by the President.
Born on August 27, 1957 in Ponnavaram village of Andhra Pradesh's Krishna district, Justice Ramana was enrolled as an advocate on February 10, 1983.
He was appointed as a permanent Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on June 27, 2000 and functioned as acting Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court from March 10, 2013 to May 20, 2013.
Justice Ramana was elevated as the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on September 2, 2013 and later as a Judge of the Supreme Court on February 17, 2014.
The decision of the top court on Chief Minister Reddy's complaint against Justice Ramana was posted through a statement on its website.
A complaint dated October 6, 2020 sent by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to the Supreme Court was dealt with under the In House Procedure and the same, on due consideration, stands dismissed. It be noted that all the matters dealt with under the In-House Procedure being strictly confidential in nature, are not liable to be made public, the statement said.
In an unprecedented move, Reddy wrote a letter to CJI Bobde on October 6 alleging that a senior Supreme Court judge has been influencing the sittings of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and acting in the interests of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and its chief Chandrababu Naidu.
Reddy had alleged that the Andhra Pradesh High Court was being used to "destabilise and topple my democratically elected government".
Reddy had requested the CJI to look into the matter and consider initiating steps "as may be considered fit and proper to ensure that the state judiciary's neutrality is maintained".
The chief minister's letter to the CJI was released to the media by his Principal Advisor Ajeya Kallam in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh on the night of October 10, last year.