Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, the seniormost judge of the Supreme Court after Chief Justice S A Bobde, was sworn in as the 48th Chief Justice of India on Saturday. Justice Ramana will have a tenure of over sixteen months — until August 26, 2022.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, Judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India with effect from April 24, 2021,” said a Ministry of Law and Justice notification.
Justice Ramana takes over at a time when the judiciary is adjusting to function in the virtual mode while ensuring un-interrupted access to justice to citizens. As Chairperson of the National Legal Services Authority, Justice Ramana led efforts to ensure training to lawyers and litigants to adapt to e-courts during the pandemic.
Born on August 27, 1957, in Ponnavaram of Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh, Justice Ramana is the youngest of this three siblings. His parents Nuthalapati Ganapathi Rao and Sarojini were humble agriculturists. Although he briefly worked as a journalist for Telugu newspaper Eenadu, as a first generation lawyer, he enrolled as an advocate and set up practice in Vijayawada in 1983.
He subsequently moved to Hyderabad and later served as Additional Advocate General of Andhra Pradesh. In June 2000, he was appointed a permanent judge of the AP High Court and in 2014 was elevated to the Supreme Court.
During his tenure in the Supreme Court, Justice Ramana has advocated the need to implement regional languages as the language of the court to increase participation of rural litigants in the trial process.
He is one of the few judges who displays his nameplate outside his official residence in Telugu, his mother tongue. Incidentally, Justice Ramana is only the second CJI from Andhra Pradesh after Justice K Subba Rao who was CJI between 1966-67.