NEW DELHI: With a little over 10 months left for the present Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi’s retirement, in November 2019, India will see 7 Chief Justices in a span of six years. The line of succession till 2025 will also see the youngest, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, who was elevated to Supreme Court earlier this week, as the Chief Justice.
Barring few unseen circumstances, like death, early retirements or impeachment, the order of upcoming Chief Justices of India is all set.
However, Khanna will become the CJI for only about six months, succeeding Justice D Y Chandrachud. With his tenure set to end on May 13, 2025, Khanna will likely to assume the office of CJI after Chandrachud’s term ends on November 10, 2024.
Both Chandrachud and Khanna come from distinguished judicial families. Chandrachud’s father Y V Chandrachud was the longest-serving chief justice of India. Khanna is the nephew of legendary Justice HR Khanna, who was the sole dissenting voice in the ADM Jabalpur case in 1976, in which he said fundamental rights cannot be curtailed during an Emergency.
When Justice DY Chandrachud becomes CJI on November 9, 2022, he and his father will have scriped history as the only father-son to head the apex court.
Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65. However, for becoming CJI, the date on which the judge was appointed to the apex court plays a crucial role rather than his age.
In case two judges are elevated to the Supreme Court on the same date, the one who takes oath first will be given priority over the one who has put in more years of high court service.