Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, son of prominent Arvind Shriniwas Bobde, a prominent advocate, was born in Nagpur on April 24, 1956. He was appointed as the 47th Chief Justice of India on November 18, 2019 and his term of office will end on April 23, 2021. Bobde was appointed in accordance with the law and was named by Chief Justice Gogoi in a letter to the Institute. 

Justice Bobde graduated with Bachelor of Arts and LLB from Nagpur University and was enrolled as an advocate of the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978. Bobde served as a lawyer at the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court with appearances at Bombay before the Principal Seat and before the Supreme Court for over 21 years. He was appointed as senior advocate in 1998. Bobde was arraigned in the Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000 and was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh Supreme Court on October 16, 2012. He was arraigned in the Supreme Court on April 12, 2013. 

Bobde is a cricket enthusiast and is often seeing playing cricket during the holidays. He also appeared to be taking part in the annual cricket match between the “Chief Justice of India XI” and the “Supreme Court Bar Association XI”. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and used to own a Royal Enfield Bullet in his youth days. It is reported that in early 2019, he had an accident while riding a high-end Harley Davidson motorcycle, and he fractured his ankle. However, it did not lead to serious health concern. He is a dog lover and has two pet dogs, Sasha and Badshah. He also has a fish pond where he spends time every day he comes home from work. 

Sharad Arvind Bobde during his reign wrote 68 sentences as a judge in the Supreme Court, however, he sat on the bench in 547 cases. Sharad during his tenure was arraigned in the Supreme Court of India on Criminal Law. 


In an interview with The Hindu Justice Bobde, he stated that all religions have their own superstitious beliefs. 

“Every religion has its own mysterious practices. There are superstitious beliefs. Look at the very act of praying … all religions have their own way of praying and the conditions for prayer,” said Justice Bobde. 

Justice Bobde believes that we live in a time when the authority itself, whether parental or Parliamentary, is under attack. 

He was responding to a question on whether the judiciary was under “attack” from social media and online topics; and whether they have exceeded reasonable limits on freedom of speech. 

“It’s not just the judges … What’s going on in the community? There is a challenge to parental authority, schools, Parliament. This is a time for challenging authorities,” he said. “Self-awareness is healthy, but it should not be rude and cruel. The attack on the judges is insignificant and destructive,” he said. 


Ayodhya case: Justice Bobde was part of a five-judge Constitutional bench, which ruled in the controversial case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid. It was Bobde who pushed for the mediation of the Ayodhya conflict in order to “heal hearts and minds”. He said the conflict had seen decades of bitterness and it was believed that the talks would cool down religious divisions.  

In Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v Union of India Bobde and Chauhan JJ issued an interim order, declaring that no Indian citizen could be deprived of basic services and government subsidies due to the lack of Aadhaar card. 

In Abhiram Singh v CD Commachen a seven-judge panel said the anti-publicity law on election votes extends to both voters and candidates. Justice Bobde endorsed a different coherent view which emphasizes that there is no barrier to the deliberate interpretation of the penal code. He said purposeful translation could be used for punitive provisions where the purpose of the law is defeated by explicit interpretation. 

At Jindal Stainless Steel v State of Haryana, a nine-judge panel raised the eligibility of state tax on imported goods from other states. Justice Bobde was part of a seven-judge panel. He concluded that it was constitutional for governments to impose taxes on imported goods to protect local goods from unfair discrimination. 


Image Source: Indian Express

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