Sharad Arvind Bobde
47th Chief Justice of India
In office
18 November 2019 – 23 April 2021
PresidentRam Nath Kovind
Preceded byRanjan Gogoi
Succeeded byN. V. Ramana
Judge of the Supreme Court of India
In office
12 April 2013 – 17 November 2019
Nominated byAltamas Kabir
Appointed byPranab Mukherjee
Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court
In office
16 October 2012 – 11 April 2013
Nominated byAltamas Kabir
Appointed byPranab Mukherjee
Preceded bySyed Rafat Alam
Succeeded byAjay Manikrao Khanwilkar
Judge of the Bombay High Court
In office
29 March 2000 – 15 October 2012
Nominated byAdarsh Sein Anand
Appointed byK. R. Narayanan
Personal details
Born (1956-04-24) 24 April 1956 (age 67)
Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
SpouseKamini Bobde
Alma materNagpur University (BA, LLB)

Sharad Arvind Bobde (born 24 April 1956) is an Indian judge who served as the 47th Chief Justice of India from 18 November 2019 to 23 April 2021.[2]

He is a former Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.[3] He is also serving as the Chancellor of Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai and Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur. He had a tenure of eight years in the Supreme Court of India and retired on 23 April 2021.[4] On 24 April 2021, N. V. Ramana succeeded him as the CJI.[5]

Family and early life

Bobde comes from a Nagpur-based Deshastha Rigvedi Brahmin Marathi family. His great-grandfather Ramachandra Pant Bobde was a noted lawyer in Chandrapur (erstwhile Chanda) between 1880 and 1900.[6][7] The family later moved to Nagpur. His grandfather Shrinivas Ramachandra Bobde was also a lawyer.[8] Bobde's father Arvind Shrinivas Bobde was the advocate-general of Maharashtra in 1980 and 1985. Bobde's elder brother late Vinod Arvind Bobde was a senior Supreme Court lawyer and a constitutional expert.[9]


Bobde did his schooling at St. Francis De'Sales High School, Nagpur. He completed his graduation from the St. Francis De Sales College, Nagpur and studied law at the Dr. Ambedkar Law College, Nagpur University.[10][11]


He enrolled as an advocate on 13 September 1978, practiced at the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court with appearances before the principal seat at Bombay and before the Supreme Court of India and became a Senior Advocate in 1998. Bobde was appointed an additional judge of the Bombay High Court on 29 March 2000,[12] and subsequently promoted to Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on 16 October 2012 before being elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court of India on 12 April 2013.[13][14]

He was appointed the 47th Chief Justice of India on 18 November 2019, succeeding Ranjan Gogoi.[15] He became the only CJI to not recommend a single judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court of India, in his tenure of 1 year and 5 months.[16]

He wrote 68 judgments as a judge of the Supreme Court. However, he sat on the bench for 547 cases. He has effectively written 8.5 judgments per year. The subject he has written the most judgments on in the Supreme Court is Criminal Law, with 29 judgments.[17]

Notable judgements and opinions

Ayodhya dispute

Main article: 2019 Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya dispute

Justice Bobde was part of the five-judge constitutional bench which heard and delivered the judgment dated November 9, 2019 on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. The bench unanimously ordered the construction of a Hindu Temple in the disputed site, while ruling that the Demolition of the Babri Masjid and the 1949 desecration of the Babri Masjid was in violation of law.[18]


A three judge bench of the Supreme Court of India, comprising Bobde, Jasti Chelameswar, and Chokkalingam Nagappan, ratified an earlier order of the Supreme Court and clarified that no Indian citizen without an Aadhaar card can be deprived of basic services and government subsidies.[19]


A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India, comprising Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao in 2017, rejected a woman's plea seeking termination of her foetus, based on the medical board's report that the 26-week-old foetus had a chance of survival.[20]

Religious feelings

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India, comprising Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao in 2017, upheld the ban by the Karnataka Government of a book by Maate Mahadevi on the grounds that it outraged the religious feelings of Lord Basavanna's followers.[21]


A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India, comprising Bobde, T. S. Thakur and Arjan Kumar Sikri in 2016, in relation to the extreme air pollution in the National Capital Region, suspended the sales of fire crackers in the region.[22]

Marital rape

While commenting on marital rape, Bobde remarked that when a man and a woman live as husband and wife, that act of sexual intercourse between them could not be called rape.[23]

Rape of a minor

Bobde was hearing an appeal against anticipatory bail given to a person accused of raping a minor. During oral arguments Bobde asked the defendant "Will you marry her?".[24] Following this exchange, women's rights and progressive groups called Bobde to step down for asking the accused rapist to marry the victim to avoid punishment.[25]

Appointment of High Court Judges

A three-judge bench of CJI Bobde and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Surya Kant issued binding directions to streamline the appointment of high court judges, within specified timelines.[26]


  1. ^ "President clears Justice Bobde's elevation to the post of CJI". Times of India. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Two judges sworn in Supreme Court, strength raised to 30". Zee News Portal. 12 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Chief Justice of India & Sitting Hon'ble Judges Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde". Supreme Court of India portal.
  4. ^ PTI (29 October 2019). "Justice SA Bobde appointed next Chief Justice of India, to take oath on 18 November". ThePrint. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Sharad Arvind Bobde retires: A look at 47th CJI's tenure". 23 April 2021.
  6. ^ Marāṭhī vāñmayakośa: Marāṭhī granthakāra, I. Sa. 1050-1857. Mahārāshṭra Rājya Sāhitya Sãskr̥ti Maṇḍaḷa. 1977. p. 258. विदर्भातील चंद्रनगर (हछीचे चांदा) येथील रहिवासी असलेल्या बोबडे ह्या कौशिकगोत्री देशस्थ ऋग्वेदी ब्राह्मण घराण्यात ते...
  7. ^ Sureśa Mahādeva Ḍoḷake (1983). Sãśodhana-śalākā. Ameya Prakashan. p. 6.
  8. ^ "WHO IS SHARAD ARVIND BOBDE". Business Standard.
  9. ^ NETWORK, LIVELAW NEWS (11 June 2016). "Senior Advocate Vinod Bobde Passes away". Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Hon'ble Mr. Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde". Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Hon'ble Mr. Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde Profile". National Legal Services Authority. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Sharad Arvind Bobde". Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  13. ^ "HON'BLE SHRI JUSTICE SHARAD ARVIND BOBDE, B.A., LL.B." High Court of Madhya Pradesh. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  14. ^ Ganjapure, Vaibhav (29 March 2013). "NU alumni justice Bobde to be SC judge soon". The Times of India, gpur. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde takes oath as 47th CJI". Times of India. 18 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Supreme Court collegium meets but discusses no names | India News". The Times of India. 9 April 2021.
  17. ^ R, Kruthika; R, Mihir. "CJI Bobde Wrote 68 Judgments Over 8 Years". Supreme Court Observer. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  18. ^ "Aadhaar, air pollution, Ayodhya — next CJI SA Bobde has been part of landmark cases". 29 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Don't insist on Aadhar, warns SC". The Hindu. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  20. ^ "SC rejects pregnant woman's plea to terminate foetus afflicted with Down syndrome". Firstpost. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Poojaya Sri Jagadguru Maate ... vs Government Of Karnataka on 20 September, 2017". Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "'However Brutal the Husband is...': Supreme Court's Observation on Marital Rape Raises Eyebrows". 2 March 2021.
  24. ^ "Will you marry her? Supreme Court asks government servant charged with repeatedly raping minor girl". Bar And Bench. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  25. ^ "India's top judge tells accused rapist to marry victim to avoid jail". 4 March 2021.
  26. ^ "CJI S.A. Bobde's Legacy: Two Orders That Could Reduce Pendency in HCs". The Wire.