Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the senior-most judge in the apex court, succeeds Dipak Mishra as the next Chief Justice of India. (Source: PTI)

Ranjan Gogoi Appointed As New Chief Justice of India, To Assume Office On Oct. 3

Justice Ranjan Gogoi was on Thursday appointed the 46th Chief Justice of India, according to the Law Ministry.

He would assume office on Oct. 3 after the incumbent Dipak Misra retires a day before. Justice Gogoi will have a tenure of a little over 13 months and would retire on Nov. 17, 2019.

President Ram Nath Kovind signed warrants of appointment of Justice Gogoi following which a notification announcing his appointment was issued.

Born on November 18, 1954, Justice Gogoi was enrolled as an advocate in 1978. He practised in the Gauhati High Court on constitutional, taxation and company matters. He was appointed as a permanent judge of the Gauhati High Court in February 2001.

He was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in September 2010. He was appointed as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court in February 2011 and then a judge of the Supreme Court in April 2012.

Justice Misra had earlier this month recommended Justice Gogoi as his successor as per established practice of naming the senior-most judge as the CJI.

Speculation over Justice Gogoi's appointment as the next CJI arose after the court's four most senior judges, including Justice Gogoi, called a press conference in January and criticised Justice Misra on various issues, especially the allocation of cases to certain benches.

Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph also addressed the press conference—perhaps a first in the history of the Indian judiciary.

According to the Memorandum of Procedure, which governs the appointment of members of the higher judiciary, "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".

It stipulates that the law minister will, at an appropriate time, seek the recommendation of the outgoing chief justice of India for the appointment of a successor. Under this process, after receiving the CJI's recommendation, the law minister puts it before the prime minister who advises the president on the matter.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had recently said the government's intention on the appointment of the next chief justice shouldn't be questioned. He had also said the executive will take a call when the incumbent names the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court as his successor as per convention.

Prasad was responding to a question at the Law Ministry's annual press conference on whether the government would follow laid-down conventions and procedures to appoint Justice Misra's successor.

Also read: Chief Justice Dipak Misra Recommends Justice Ranjan Gogoi As His Successor

"The question is imaginary as far as the appointment of the Chief Justice of India is concerned, the convention is clear. The sitting chief justice names the senior-most judge (of the top court) as his successor. When the name comes to us, we will discuss it," he had said.

Also read: Revolution, Not Reform, Needed For Judiciary To Service Commoners: Justice Gogoi