Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi
Known for a no-nonsense approach towards frivolous cases, Justice Gogoi is the one who made the National Register of Citizens possible in Assam. It also issued a contempt notice to retired apex court judge Markandey Katju over his criticisms of the court. He was also a part of the unprecedented press conference by four senior judges in January 2018. Accused of sexual harassment by a former court staffer in April this year, he was eventually given a clean chit by an in-house inquiry by SC judges.
CJI designate SA Bobde
Justice Bobde had put on hold the government’s attempts to link various public and private services with Aadhaar in 2015 and referred the question over right to privacy to a larger bench. He was one of the nine judges who unanimously affirmed that privacy was a fundamental right. He was also one of the three judges who suspended sale of firecrackers in Delhi. He headed the Supreme Court’s In-House Inquiry Committee instituted to probe the allegations of sexual harassment against CJI Gogoi.
Justice DY Chandrachud
Justice DY Chandrachud was also in line to be the next Chief Justice of India, as per the seniority convention. Son of YV Chandrachud, the longest-serving CJI of India, Justice Chandrachud was appointed as an SC judge in May 2016 by former president Pranab Mukherjee. His judgment in the right to privacy case in 2017 was lauded for its recognition of the importance of individual liberty, and autonomy. It also expressly overturned his own father’s decision in the ADM Jabalpur case during the Emergency.
Justice Ashok Bhushan
Justice Ashok Bhushan has been on the bench in a number of high profile cases, including the plea challenging the constitutionality of the Aadhaar scheme. He wrote a separate but concurring opinion in the Aadhaar case on how the right to privacy was not infringed by the collection of demographic data, and that there was insufficient evidence to show that people were being denied services because of it. Justice Bhushan also took charge as Acting Chief Justice a few months later.
Justice SA Nazeer
Justice Nazeer had been part of the three-judge bench constituted during the tenure of former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra’s time to hear the plea seeking referral of Ayodhya case to a larger bench. He dissented against the majority ruling, holding that a five-judge bench was required to hear the case to ensure that it was not bound by the controversial observations in a 1994 judgment by the Supreme Court in the Ismail Faruqui case, saying a mosque was not an essential part of the practice of Islam.