NEW DELHI: With the Supreme Court attaining its full strength of 31 judges, the office of the Chief Justice of India will see as many as eight justices within a span of eight years.
The present Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi will demit office in November 2019 and the line of succession till 2027 is clear barring few unseen circumstances, like death, early retirements or impeachment.
Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65.
But for becoming the Chief Justice of India, the date on which the judge was appointed to the apex court plays a crucial role rather than his age.
In case, the two judges are elevated to the Supreme Court on the same date, the one who takes the oath first will get priority followed by the judge who has put in more years of high court service.
Justice S A Bobde is likely to take over from Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi in November 2019, followed by justice N V Ramana in April 2021, Justice UU Lalit in August 2022, and Justice D Y Chandrachud from November 2022 to November 2024.
By the time Justice Chandrachud retires in November 2024, many judges present at the apex court would have retired. Justice Sanjeev Khanna’s elevation early this year also makes him in line to be CJI from November 11, 2024, to May 13, 2025.
When Justice Chandrachud becomes CJI, he will create history as the only father-son to become CJI.
Similarly, after Justice Khanna demits the office of CJI, newly appointed Justice B R Gavai will become the CJI for over six months in 2025. He will be the second Chief Justice of India from the Scheduled Caste community after Justice (retd) K G Balakrishnan.
Another newly elevated, Justice Surya Kant will succeed Justice Gavai as the CJI in November 2025. He will remain in office till February 2027.