Chief Justice of India aka CJI Dipak Misra is 34 days away from retirement and the Union Law Ministry has asked Misra to name suggestions for his successor as per the tradition and commence the procedure of appointing India’s next topmost judge.
CJI Dipak Misra retires on October 2, 2018 and it has been reported that the Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has followed the tradition of seeking suggestions for the next CJI from the ongoing judge. It is speculated that the Misra might nominate Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the second senior-most judge of Supreme Court to be his successor and India’s next CJI. Once CJI Misra will submit recommendations, the Law Minister Sankar Prasad will forward it to PM Modi who will advise the President Ramnath Kovind regarding the appointment of next CJI.
It is noteworthy that, Justice Gogoi was one of the four Justices who conducted an unprecedented press conference in January, speaking out about the allegedly biased working pattern and case allocation by the outgoing CJI. It is said that “Misra was hurt” by Justice Gogai’s participation in the press conference led by Justice J Chelameswar. This means that the convention of Memorandum of Procedure that the “appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of India should be of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office” may or may not be followed by Misra.
However, Prasad has assure that in such special cases, the appointment of new head judge will be made fairly only after consulting with other Justices and executives. Regardless of who will succeed Dipak Misra and become the next Chief Justice of India, the outgoing CJI is expected to deliver some landmark verdicts in the Supreme Court before retiring. The final decisions of some of India’s most crucial cases like the validity of Aadhaar card and the validity of Article 35A are likely to be made before October 2, 2018 – before the retirement of Misra.