Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, son of eminent senior advocate Arvind Shriniwas Bobde, was born in Nagpur on April 24, 1956. He was appointed as the 47th Chief Justice of India on November 18, 2019 and his tenure will end on April 23, 2021. Bobde had been chosen following the rule of seniority and his name was recommended by Chief Justice Gogoi in a letter to the Centre.
Justice Bobde completed Bachelor of Arts and LLB from Nagpur University and was enrolled as an advocate of the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978. Bobde 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 senior advocate in 1998. Bobde was made Additional Judge in the Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000 and then sworn in as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court on October 16, 2012. He was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court on April 12, 2013.
Landmark judgments by Sharad Arvind Bobde
Ayodhya case: Justice Bobde was part of a 5-judge Constitution bench, which delivered its judgment in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case. It was Bobde who first pushed for mediation of the Ayodhya dispute in order to “heal hearts and minds”. He said the dispute has seen many bitter decades and be believed that talks would cool tempers across the religious divide.
Aadhaar: Justice Bobde, along with Jasti Chelameswar and Chokkalingam Nagappan ratified an earlier order of the Supreme Court and clarified that no Indian citizen without an Aadhaar card can be deprived of basic services and government subsidies.
Air pollution: A three-judge bench of the apex court, which included Justice Bobde suspended the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region in 2016, to curb pollution.
Right to Privacy: Bobde was part of a nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, which in August 2017 declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right of an individual.
Sexual harassment case against Gogoi: Justice Bobde headed a three-member in-house committee, which gave a clean chit recently to CJI Gogoi on a sexual harassment complaint against him by a former apex court staffer.
BCCI dispute: Bobde appointed an amicus curiae to resolve the problems of the stakeholders and ordered the holding of elections in the BCCI. An alternative to this ruling would have been countless court hearings in a case, which seemed to grow new branches of dispute every time.