On April 6, 2021, India got its new Chief Justice of India, N.V. Ramana or Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana. We will be telling you all about who is CJI Ramana is and what have been major judgements passed by him.
Today, President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Mr. Ramana the highly esteemed position of CJI. Mr. Ramana will be the 48th CJI of India who will continue to pass judgements on the most pressing matters in the country.
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) April 6, 2021
Mr. Raman’s appointment comes after the current sitting CJI S.A. Bobde recommended the former to the President for the position. The appointment makes all the more sense as the sitting CJI Bobde believes Mr. Ramana to be the second senior-most judge in the Apex Court. His appointment saw a little bit of friction as Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had filed a complaint to the Supreme Court claiming bias and impropriety for Ramana. The Supreme Court after assessing the appeal came to the decision that no such bias occurred and dismissed it.
Who Is Justice N.V. Ramana?
Born in a family of farmers, Mr. Ramana is a truly inspirational man and one that is the epitome of rags to riches through hard work. He was brought up in Andhra Pradesh and before wearing the black, he worked as a journalist in Andhra Pradesh for a newspaper.
According to leading news platform The Hindu, Mr. Ramana went to his maternal aunt in 1975 on his father’s suggestion. His father suggested that he should move away from his home as there were rumblings about an upcoming emergency. Like any father, Mr. Ramana’s father too believed that the police would take his son into the custody due to his outspoken demeanor on significant topics like civil liberties and justice for all.
In 1983, Mr. Ramana was enrolled as an advocate and thus began a journey with monumental highs. He started to lead the high court in Andhra Pradesh and with passing years, he started to move up the rung of judiciary. He went on to practice at the Central Tribunals, Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunals, and then made his way to the Apex Court. Mr. Ramana was appointed as a permanent judge at the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2000, a position he held till 2013 when he was called to Supreme Court to serve as the Justice. In 2014, Mr. Ramana was elevated to the Supreme Court as a Chief Justice.
Major judgements rendered by N.V. Ramana
Mr. Ramana started serving at Supreme Court in February 2014 as a judge and has been the chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) since 2019. He was appointed the letter every judge dream of being handed one day by the Secretary of the Department of Justice called the warrant of appointment. During his time at the Supreme Court, Mr. Ramana was on the bench that made rulings on some of the most important issues of the country
Jammu and Kashmir Internet Ban Lifting
One of the biggest judgments Mr. Ramana rendered was lifting the year-long indefinite ban on Internet in Jammu and Kashmir. After the scrapping of Article 370, the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir were thrown into the dark ages as internet was completely ban.
The Supreme Court in its ruling stated that the ban in J&K was not only a telecom rule violation, but also a violation on the Freedom of Speech and Expression. Freedom of Speech and Expression is a fundamental right given to every Indian citizen by the constitution. A 3-judge bench that comprised of Justice N.V. Ramana, R. Subhash Reddy and B.R. Gavai heard petitions that challenged the government’s decision to impose a hard lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir after the abolishment of Article 370.
The bench observed that freedom of speech and expression also includes the right to receive and share information, which was curbed due to the internet ban. The Apex court also ruled that in a highly globalized world, even trade and commercial activities are dependent on internet, and the freedom to practice trade is protected under Article 19 (1)(G) of the Indian constitution.
Mr. Ramana in the rulings said, “Our limited concern is to find a balance regarding security and liberty of people. We only here to ensure citizens are provided their rights. We will not delve into the political intent behind the orders given. Kashmir has seen a lot of violence. We will try our best to balance the human rights and freedoms with the issue of security.”
Bringing CJI under the RTI scope and range
Another significant judgment that came from Justice Ramana was bringing CJI office under the complete scope and range of the Right to Information (RTI). This was a major milestone for advocates of transparency. The judgment came from a 5-member bench that was led by CJI Rajan Gogoi. In his ruling, Mr. Gogoi ruled that the CJI office can come under the full scope of RTI but on a case-to-case basis. Mr. Ramana ruled that information sought about CJI office under the RTI act should be calibrated.