Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde will on Monday sworn-in as the 47th Chief Justice of India (CJI). He succeeded Justice Ranjan Gogoi who retired on November 17 after remaining in office for over 13 months. President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office of Chief Justice of India to Justice Bobde at 9.30 am. Justice Bobde was born in 1956 at Nagpur, Maharashtra and obtained his B.A. and LL.B. degrees from Nagpur University. He enrolled on the rolls of the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978.
He practiced law at the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court with appearances at Bombay before the Principal Seat and before the Supreme Court for over 21 years. He was designated as a senior advocate in 1998. Justice Bobde was elevated to the bench of the Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000, as an Additional Judge.
Taking a grim view of unrestrained criticism of judges on social media for some of their judicial actions, CJI Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde said it bothers him when he sees judges feeling "harassed" and finds the attack difficult to ignore.
Asked whether criticism of judges bothers him, Justice Bobde said, "To an extent. Yes. It bothers me. That it might affect the performance of courts and I see judges who feel harassed. To that extent, it bothers me. Nobody likes it. Everybody is not thick-skinned enough to ignore. Judges are also normal human beings." He, however, said that at the moment, the apex court cannot do anything to address the uncontrolled criticism on social media platforms.
Justice Bobde said the government is "very alive" to the needs of the judiciary like lack of infrastructure and that the Centre, as well as the state governments, are making adequate provisions for this. He said it is high time the judiciary resorts to modern functioning, including artificial intelligence for dispensation of justice, as it would aid judges in delivering speedy justice.
He was sworn in as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court on October 16, 2012. He was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court of India on April 12, 2013. Justice Bobde will retire as CJI on April 23, 2021.