INTERVIEW| All high court chief justices are equal in status & power: CJI designate SA Bobde

Bobde, is the senior-most judge in the Supreme Court after Ranjan Gogoi, the current Chief Justice, who retires on November 17.

Published: 31st October 2019 05:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st November 2019 08:56 AM   |  A+A-

Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde

Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

Justice SA Bobde, who will succeed Ranjan Gogoi on November 18 as the 47th Chief Justice of India, says cutting down the backlog of cases and streamlining the justice delivery system are his priorities. Excerpts from an interview with Kanu Sarda:

Having been designated as next Chief Justice of India, what will be your line of action to fight pendency?

My first and foremost priority is to study ways by which pendency can be curtailed. We already have a committee which suggests ways by which we can cut down the time spent on each case by the judges. I will see if we can introduce the concept of artificial intelligence so that things become smoother in future.

The Supreme Court is now working with its full strength of 34 judges. Do you think this will help in cutting down pendency?

Yes, of course the pendency of cases will come down and more importantly, there will be more number of constitution benches in place now which couldn’t be constituted by the CJI earlier as the work of the other courts would have been affected. But now things will change and we can devote judges for adjudicating cases which needs constitutional interpretation.

ALSO READ| Justice delivery system might need artificial intelligence: CJI-designate SA Bobde

Do you think Collegium decisions should be detailed ones and not just mere recommendations?

Collegium decisions shouldn’t be so transparent that they harm the reputation of a candidate. If a judge’s name is not agreed upon by the Collegium members for some reasons, it need not be put out in public domain because it affects a person’s privacy, which is very important.

Shouldn’t Collegium decisions at least divulge the reasons for transferring judges?

When the Collegium transfers a judge from one place to another, that judge must go there with a good reputation for him/her to be effective. Why should the Collegium say negative things about the judge while transferring him/her? And many times, there are no negative reasons (for transfer). All high courts in the country are important. There is no concept of small or big court; there are only larger and smaller states. All chief justices are equal - equal in status and power.

The Ayodhya case has been pending in the Supreme Court alone for several years. What do you think is the reason?

There were several problems at different stages, like unavailability of transcripts and unavailability of judges for the constitution bench, to name a few. I don’t think the delay was deliberate.

What steps will you take to fill vacancies in high courts and improve infrastructure?

I have a few things in my mind already. I will sit with the committee that looks after arrears of cases and see what best can be done to fill up the existing vacancies and improve the infrastructure so that justice can be delivered at a faster pace.

What do you have to say on criticism of judges and judgments on the social media?

Nobody likes his or her criticism. It does hurt judges as well and at times we feel harassed, too. But there is nothing we can do about it.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp