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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Who is Justice NV Ramana, judge set to become 48th CJI of India?

Justice NV Ramana, who is set to take over next month, was born into a humble family of agriculturalists in Ponnavaram Village, Krishna district in undivided Andhra Pradesh. Here's what we know about him

Incumbent Chief of Justice of India SA Bobde has recommended senior-most judge Justice NV Ramana as his successor and the 48th Chief Justice of India, as Bobde retires on April 23. Justice NV Ramana, who is set to take over next month, was born into a humble family of agriculturalists in Ponnavaram Village, Krishna district in undivided Andhra Pradesh. Who is Justice NV Ramana, the judge set to become the 48th CJI of India? Here’s all we know about Justice NV Ramana and the landmark judgements he’s been a part of.

Justice NV Ramana enrolled as an Advocate back in February 1983. As a lawyer, he practised in the Andhra Pradesh High Court, Central Administrative Tribunal, AP state administrative tribunal and the Supreme Court in Civil, Criminal, Constitutional, Labour, Service and Election matters, with specialisation in Constitutional, Criminal, Service and Inter-State River laws. According to reports, he has also served on the panel of counsel for various government bodies and put in time as Additional Standing Counsel for the Central Government, Standing Counsel for Railways in the Central Administrative Tribunal at Hyderabad, and as Additional Advocate General of Andhra Pradesh.

He had been appointed as a Permanent Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on June 27, 2000, and functioned as acting Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court from March 10, 2013, to May 20, 2013. He was promoted as the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on September 2, 2013, and was again promoted as a Judge of the Supreme Court on February 17, 2014. He has not been a stranger to controversy. Justice NV Ramana’s profile was smeared with controversy, after YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the current Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh wrote to Bobde alleging that the judge and his relatives were linked to the Amaravati land scam case. After Jagan’s letter to Bobde, Justice NV Ramana had however dismissed the allegations. More recently, the AP government had reportedly requested the Supreme Court to lift the stay imposed by the state High Court on the probe. Justice NV Ramana’s nomination also means that the allegations have been categorically dismissed by the current CJI.

Here are Justice NV Ramana‘s landmark judgments that he has been a part of:

— A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana and Surya Kant in January 2021 said the value of a woman’s work at home was no less than that of her office-going husband. Justice NV Ramana expanded the idea first mentioned by the SC in the Lata Wadhwa case in 2001 when it had dealt with the issue of compensation for victims of a fire during a function and had ruled that it should also be granted to housewives on the basis of the work they perform in the house.

— Adi Saiva Sivachariyargal Nala Sangam v. Government of TN, 2016
A bench of Justices including former CJI Ranjan Gogoi and NV Ramana had held that the appointment of Archakas in temples will have to be made in accordance with the Agamas, subject to their due identification as well as their conformity with the Constitutional mandates and principles. The Archakas’ exclusion/inclusion would not violate Article 14 if it is not based on caste, birth, or other constitutionally unacceptable parameters.

— Md. Anwar v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2020: The three-judge bench of Justice NV Ramana, SA Nazeer and Surya Kant, held that in order to successfully claim defence of mental unsoundness under Section 84 of IPC, the accused must show by “a preponderance of probabilities” that he/she suffered from a serious-enough mental disease or infirmity which would affect the individual’s ability to distinguish right from wrong. “Mere production of photocopy of an OPD card and statement of mother on affidavit have little, if any, evidentiary value,” they had said.

— Central Public Information Officer v. Subhash Chandra Agarwal, 2019: A five-judge Supreme Court bench had held that the office of the CJI comes under the purview of the Right to Information.

— Foundations for Media Professionals v. Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, 2020: A three-judge bench had constituted a three-member committee to look into the demand for allowing 4G mobile internet in the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India, 2020: A three-judge bench of NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai, asked the Jammu & Kashmir administration to review all orders imposing curbs on telecom and internet services in the state within a span of seven days and put them in the public domain.

– Jindal Stainless Ltd v. the State of Haryana, 2017: A nine-judge bench, by 7:2 majority, upheld the validity of the entry tax imposed by the States on goods imported from other States. T.S. Thakur, A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde, Shiva Kirti Singh, NV Ramana, R. Banumathi and A.M. Khanwilkar, JJ, providing the majority view had said that States are well within their right to design their fiscal legislations.

– Roger Mathew v. South India Bank Ltd., 2019: A five-judge Constitution Bench of Ranjan Gogoi, NV Ramana, DY Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, upheld the validity of Section 184 of the Finance Act, 2017 and held that the said Section does not suffer from an excessive delegation of legislative functions. The Court struck down “the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017, made under Section 184 of the Finance Act, 2017, for being contrary to the parent enactment and the principles envisaged in the Constitution”.

– Nabam Rebia, and Bamang Felix v. Deputy Speaker, 2016: A 5-judge constitutional bench of Jagdish Singh Khehar, Dipak Misra, Madan B. Lokur, Pinaki Chandra Ghose and NV Ramana quashed the order of the Governor, preponing the 6th session of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly by one month without consulting the Chief Minister, Council of Ministers or the Speaker, on account of being violative of Article 163 read with Article 174 of the Constitution of India.

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