Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India
Assumed Office18th Nov, 2019
Retired On23rd Apr, 2021
Judge of the Supreme Court of India12th April 2013 - 17th November 2019
Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court16th October 2012 - 11th April 2013
Judge of Bombay High Court29th March 2000 - 15th October 2013
Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde practised in the Bombay High Court and Supreme Court for over 21 years. In 1998, he was designated as a Senior Advocate.
On March 29th 2000, Chief Justice Bobde was appointed as an Additional Judge to the Bombay High Court. Then 12 years later, on October 16th 2012, he was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
On November 18th 2019, Chief Justice Bobde succeeded CJI Ranjan Gogoi and became the 47th Chief Justice of India.
In Jogendra Singh v State of Madhya Pradesh, a three-judge bench commuted a convict’s death penalty to life imprisonment on appeal. The Madhya Pradesh High Court had sentenced the appellant to death for causing a woman’s death while being out on bail for another offence. Justice Bobde applied the principle of Bachchan Singh and held that mitigating circumstances in the case prevented it from meeting the ‘rarest of rare’ requirement.
A nine-judge bench unanimously affirmed the fundamental right to privacy in K.S. Puttaswamy v Union of India. Justice Bobde authored a separate concurring opinion recognising privacy as a natural right residing in multiple fundamental rights, with its core in the right to life. He clarified that Aadhar is a fair, just and reasonable restriction on privacy.
In Abhiram Singh v CD Commachen a seven-judge bench held that the bar against appealing to communal sentiments for electoral votes extends to both the voters and the candidates. Justice Bobde authored a separate concurring opinion emphasising that there is no bar against the purposive interpretation of penal statutes. He stated that purposive interpretation can be used for penal provisions when the legislative intent is defeated by plain interpretation.
In Savita Sachin Patil v Union of India, his Division bench rejected a woman’s plea to terminate a foetus afflicted with Down syndrome.
He led the Division bench in Poojaya Sri Jagadguru Maate Mahadevi v Government of Karnataka that upheld the Karnataka Government’s ban on a book by Mate Mahadevi for outraging the religious feelings of Lord Basavanna’s followers.
In Jindal Stainless Steel v State of Haryana, a nine-judge bench upheld the validity of a state entry tax on goods entering from other states. Justice Bobde was a part of the seven-judge majority. It held that it is constitutional for states to impose taxes on goods imported from other states to protect local goods from undue discrimination.
On 11 November, then Chief Justice Thakur and Justices Bobde and Sikri ordered a ban on the sale and stocking of firecrackers in Arjun Gopal v Union of India. The judgment came out approximately two weeks after Diwali.
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 for the lack of an Aadhaar card.