After serving as a judge for 22 years, 47th Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde retired today. He said that he is leaving the Supreme Court with happiness, goodwill and very fond memories and the satisfaction of having done his best.
Justice NV Ramana is going to succeed him as the next Chief Justice of India.
Justice Bobde has served on the various panels on different issues. He headed the Indian judiciary amid unprecedented Covid situation and took decisions on various big issues.
“I must say that last day has evoked mixed feelings which is difficult to describe. I have been a part of the ceremonial bench before but did not feel such mixed feelings which could enable me to say things clearly. I leave this court with happiness, goodwill with very fond memories of wonderful arguments, excellent presentation, good behaviour, commitment to the cause of justice from not only Bar but all connected with it” Justice Bobde said.
He expressed his pleasure while stating that it has been his richest experience in the top court and the camaraderie with brother judges has been wonderful.
Justice Bobde also contended that the transition to virtual mode during the fight against corona would not have been possible without the Registry. He also said that there are many unsatisfactory things about virtual hearings which can be ironed out.
He added, “Advantage was that hearings were homely as I could see hills behind lawyers, sculptures and paintings behind lawyers including guns and pistols. The painting behind SG Mehta has been removed now.”
“I leave with the satisfaction that I did my best. I hand over the baton to Justice N V Ramana (48th CJI) who will I am sure will very ably lead the court,” Justice Bobde said.
Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted that the tenure of the Chief Justice of India should be a minimum of three years.
“In March 2020 the world was suffering from COVID-19. Supreme Court also had to take a call and bar thought court will close down. But then CJI Bobde rose to the occasion and started virtual hearing and almost 50,000 cases have been disposed of. It’s a great achievement,” said AG Venugopal.
“CJI Bobde will not only be known as a erudite and brilliant judge but also a loving and caring human being with amazing sense of humour,” said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
Supreme Court Bar Association president and senior advocate Vikas Singh also urged for an amendment in the Constitution to increase the retirement age of judges.
“You had taken up such a contentious matter (pertaining to COVID-19) on the last day too. This shows the involvement of the judges and to ensure oxygen supply can be maintained. Till the last day you were concerned about what is happening,” he said.
Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde was born on April 24, 1956 in Nagpur, Maharashtra. He completed his Bachelor of Arts and LLB degrees from Nagpur University. Justice Bobde enrolled himself as an advocate of the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978.
He practiced law at the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court and before the Supreme Court for 21 years. He was designated as the senior advocate in 1998.
Justice Bobde was elevated as the additional judge to the Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000 and took oath as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court on October 16, 2012.
Justice Bobde was elevated as a Supreme Court judge on April 12, 2013.