Justice Venkata Ramana, India’s 48th Chief Justice

New Delhi: Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana on Saturday took over as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India.

He is now the 48th Chief Justice of India (CJI) and succeeded the post after Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde.

President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Justice Ramana in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and many other dignitaries at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Justice Ramana, a first-generation lawyer passionate about Carnatic music, will have a tenure of around one year and four months and will retire on August 26, 2022.

An avid reader and literature enthusiast, Justice Ramana was born in a farmer’s family on August 27, 1957, in Ponnavaram village of Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district.

He worked as a journalist for two years from 1979 to 1980, reporting on political and legal matters for the Eenadu newspaper.

Ramana was called on to the Bar on February 10, 1983, and has practiced in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, Central and Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunals, and the Supreme Court of India.

 He has specialised in constitutional, civil, labour, service and election matters.

He has also practiced before Inter-State River Tribunals.

 During his practice years, Justice Ramana was a Panel Counsel for various government organisations and as Additional Standing Counsel for railways in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in Hyderabad before rendering services as Additional Advocate General (AAG) of Andhra Pradesh.

Justice Ramana served as a puisne judge of the Supreme Court of India from February 17, 2014.

 He has also served as the Executive Chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) since November 27, 2019.

Initially, he was appointed as a permanent judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on June 27, 2000. He also functioned as the acting Chief Justice of his parent High Court from March 10, 2013 to May 20, 2013.

 Justice Ramana, a judge on his own rights, carries strong progressive views and was a champion of freedom of speech and democratic rights.

 He had last year directed the Centre to set up a committee to review the restoration of full-fledged internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, while hearing a petition seeking appropriate directions to restore net connectivity, as after the abrogation of article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, net connectivity was disconnected.