Article 124 of the Constitution of India

Context

  • President of India formally announced that Sharad Arvind Bobde will be India’s next Chief Justice Of India (CJI). Justice Bobde will be India’s 47th CJI. He has been chosen following the rule of seniority and his name was recommended by CJI Gogoi. His tenure as CJI will last for 17 months and he is due to retire in April 2021. 

Article 124 of the Constitution of India

  • Article 124 of the Constitution of India provides for the manner of appointing judges to the Supreme Court (SC). But there is no specific provision in the Constitution for appointing the Chief Justice. Once appointed, the Chief Justice remains in office until the age of 65 years.
  • Article 124(4) of Constitution of India provides that an SC Judge including CJI can be moved only through a process of impeachment by Parliament
  • CJI should be the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court. Law Minister to seek the recommendation of the outgoing CJI for the appointment of new CJI at an appropriate time.
  • In case of doubt about the fitness of the senior-most Judge to hold the office of CJI consultation with other Judges under Article 124(2) to be made.
  • Law Minister to put up a recommendation to Prime Minister who will advise the President on appointment.
  • Seniority at the apex court is determined not by age, but by the date a judge was appointed to the SC.
  • If two judges are elevated to the Supreme Court on the same day then: 
  1. The one who was sworn in first as a judge would trump another;
  2. If both were sworn in as judges on the same day, the one with more years of high court service would ‘win’ in the seniority stakes.
  3. An appointment from the bench would ‘trump’ in seniority an appointee from the bar.

Source: Indian Express