Last Updated: 28 August 2022
Before we get into the list of Chief Justice Of India, let’s have a quick intro about them.
The Chief Justice of India is the head of the Supreme Court and is responsible for the allocation of cases and appointment of constitutional benches which deal with important matters of law. Article 145 of the Constitution gives the right to the Chief Justice of India to allocate the respective matters of relevance to the bench of judges.
There are a total of 49 Chief Justices of India that have served since the establishment of the Supreme Court of India in 1950, which superseded the Federal Court of India. The Incumbent and 49th Chief Justice of India is Uday Umesh Lalit, who entered office on 27th Aug 2022.
Knowing about the Chief Justice of India is imperative for candidates preparing for various Government Exams as questions based on CJI are asked under the Static GK part of the General Awareness Section.
|† Represents Date of Death|
‡ Represents Date of Resignation
Federal Court of India
The Federal Court of India came into being on 1st October 1937. The seat of the court was the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament building in Delhi. It began with a Chief Justice and two puisne judges. It functioned until the establishment of the Supreme Court of India on 28th January 1950.
|No.||Name||Term In||Term Out||Bar||Governor-General|
|1||Sir Maurice Linford Gwyer|
|Inner Temple||The Marquess of Linlithgow|
|Sir Srinivas Varadachariar|
|Madras High Court||The Marquess of Linlithgow|
|2||Sir William Patrick Spens|
|Inner Temple||The Marquess of Linlithgow|
|3||Hiralal Jekisundas Kania|
|Bombay High Court||The Viscount Mountbatten of Burma|
Facts About Chief Justice Of India
- The President of India appoints the Chief Justice of India and can hold office up to the age of 65 years.
- The Chief Justice of India can be removed only through a process of impeachment by Parliament.
- Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud, the 16th Chief Justice of India is the longest-serving Chief Justice serving 7 Years, 139 Days (22 Feb 1978 – 11 July 1985).
- Kamal Narain Singh, the 22nd Chief Justice, is the shortest-serving Chief Justice of India for 17 Days (25 Nov 1991 – 12 Dec 1991).
- Amal Kumar Sarkar, the 8th Chief Justice was the longest-lived Chief Justice of India, he died at the age of 100.
- Sir H. J. Kania (1st) is the shortest-lived Chief Justice of India, he died in office at the age of 61.
- Sir H. J. Kania, the 1st Chief Justice, was the uncle of M. H. Kania, the 23rd Chief Justice.
- Ranganath Misra, the 21st Chief Justice, was the uncle of Dipak Misra, the 45th Chief Justice.
- Ranjan Gogoi, the 46th Chief Justice, was the son of K.C. Gogoi, the former Chief Minister of Assam.
- Mohd. Hidayatullah, the 11th Chief Justice, being a Muslim, was the first Chief Justice of India from a Minority Community.
- K. G. Balakrishnan, the 37th Chief Justice, was the first Chief Justice from the Dalit Community.
- J. S. Kehar, the 44th Chief Justice, was the first Chief Justice of India from the Sikh Community.
- Sam Piroj Bharucha, the 30th Chief Justice was the first Chief Justice from the Parsi Community.
- Normally, It is seen that a Chief Justice retires on his birthday.
- Five Chief Justices, A. N. Ray (14th), P. N. Bhagwati (17th), Kamal Narain Singh (22nd), M. Narayana Rao Venkatachaliah (25th), and A.M. Ahmadi (26th) are Nonagenarians (Aged between 90 & 99 years old).
- Based on the convention of seniority, the seven next Chief Justices can be predicted.
Chief Justice Of India
Since the birth of the Republic of India on 26th January 1950, 49 judges have served as the Chief Justice of India. H. J. Kania was the inaugural Chief Justice.
|No.||Chief Justice||Term In||Term Out||Bar||President|
|49||Uday Umesh Lalit|
|27 Aug 2022||~||Bar Council of India||Droupadi Murmu|
|48||Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana|
|24 Apr 2021||26 Aug 2022||Andhra Pradesh HC||Ram Nath Kovind|
|47||Sharad Arvind Bobde|
|18 Nov 2019||23 Apr 2021||Bombay HC||Ram Nath Kovind|
|3 Oct 2018||17 Nov 2019||Guwahati HC||Ram Nath Kovind|
|28 Aug 2017||2 Oct 2018||Orissa HC||Ram Nath Kovind|
|44||Jagdish Singh Khehar|
|4 Jan 2017||27 Aug 2017||Punjab & Haryana HC||Pranab Mukherjee|
|43||Tirath Singh Thakur|
|3 Dec 2015||3 Jan 2017||Jammu & Kashmir HC||Pranab Mukherjee|
|42||Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu|
|28 Sep 2014||2 Dec 2015||Karnataka HC||Pranab Mukherjee|
|41||Rajendra Mal Lodha|
|27 Apr 2014||27 Sep 2014||Rajasthan HC||Pranab Mukherjee|
|19 Jul 2013||26 Apr 2014||Madras HC||Pranab Mukherjee|
|29 Sep 2012||18 Jul 2013||Calcutta HC||Pranab Mukherjee|
|38||Sarosh Homi Kapadia|
|12 May 2010||28 Sep 2012||Bombay HC||Pratibha Patil|
|37||K. G. Balakrishnan|
|14 Jan 2007||11 May 2010||Kerala HC||A. P. J. Abdul Kalam|
|36||Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal|
|1 Nov 2005||13 Jan 2007||Delhi HC||A. P. J. Abdul Kalam|
|35||Ramesh Chandra Lahoti|
|1 Jun 2004||31 Oct 2005||Madhya Pradesh HC||A. P. J. Abdul Kalam|
|34||S. Rajendra Babu|
|2 May 2004||31 May 2004||Karnataka HC||A. P. J. Abdul Kalam|
|33||Vishweshwar Nath Khare|
|19 Dec 2002||1 May 2004||Allahabad HC||A. P. J. Abdul Kalam|
|32||Gopal Ballav Pattanaik|
|8 Nov 2002||18 Dec 2002||Orissa HC||A. P. J. Abdul Kalam|
|31||Bhupinder Nath Kirpal|
|6 May 2002||7 Nov 2002||Delhi HC||K. R. Narayanan|
|30||Sam Piroj Bharucha|
|1 Nov 2001||5 May 2002||Bombay HC||K. R. Narayanan|
|29||Adarsh Sein Anand|
|10 Oct 1998||31 Oct 2001||Jammu & Kashmir HC||K. R. Narayanan|
|28||Madan Mohan Punchhi|
|18 Jan 1998||9 Oct 1998||Punjab & Haryana HC||K. R. Narayanan|
|27||Jagdish Sharan Verma|
|25 Mar 1997||17 Jan 1998||Madhya Pradesh HC||Shankar Dayal Sharma|
|26||Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi|
|25 Oct 1994||24 Mar 1997||Gujarat HC||Shankar Dayal Sharma|
|25||M. N. Rao Venkatachaliah|
|12 Feb 1993||24 Oct 1994||Karnataka HC||Shankar Dayal Sharma|
|24||Lalit Mohan Sharma|
|18 Nov 1992||11 Feb 1993||Patna HC||Shankar Dayal Sharma|
|23||Madhukar Hiralal Kania|
|13 Dec 1991||17 Nov 1992||Bombay HC||Ramaswamy Venkataraman|
|22||Kamal Narain Singh|
|25 Nov 1991||12 Dec 1991||Allahabad HC||Ramaswamy Venkataraman|
|26 Sep 1990||24 Nov 1991||Orissa HC||Ramaswamy Venkataraman|
|18 Dec 1989||25 Sep 1990†||Calcutta HC||Ramaswamy Venkataraman|
|19||E. S. Venkataramiah|
|19 Jun 1989||17 Dec 1989||Karnataka HC||Ramaswamy Venkataraman|
|18||Raghunandan Swarup Pathak|
|21 Dec 1986||18 Jun 1989‡||Allahabad HC||Zail Singh|
|17||Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati|
|12 Jul 1985||20 Dec 1986||Gujarat HC||Zail Singh|
|16||Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud|
|22 Feb 1978||11 Jul 1985||Bombay HC||Neelam Sanjiva Reddy|
|15||Mirza Hameedullah Beg|
|29 Jan 1977||21 Feb 1978||Allahabad HC||Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed|
|14||Ajit Nath Ray|
|26 Apr 1973||28 Jan 1977||Calcutta HC||V. V. Giri|
|13||Sarv Mittra Sikri|
|22 Jan 1971||25 Apr 1973||Bar Council of India||V. V. Giri|
|12||Jayantilal Chhotalal Shah|
|17 Dec 1970||21 Jan 1971||Bombay HC||V. V. Giri|
|25 Feb 1968||16 Dec 1970||Bombay HC||Zakir Husain|
|10||Kailas Nath Wanchoo|
|12 Apr 1967||24 Feb 1968||Allahabad HC||Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan|
|9||Koka Subba Rao|
|30 Jun 1966||11 Apr 1967‡||Madras HC||Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan|
|8||Amal Kumar Sarkar|
|16 Mar 1966||29 Jun 1966||Calcutta HC||Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan|
|7||Pralhad Balacharya Gajendragadkar|
|1 Feb 1964||15 Mar 1966||Bombay HC||Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan|
|6||Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Sinha|
|1 Oct 1959||31 Jan 1964||Patna HC||Rajendra Prasad|
|5||Sudhi Ranjan Das|
|1 Feb 1956||30 Sep 1959||Calcutta HC||Rajendra Prasad|
|4||Bijan Kumar Mukherjea|
|23 Dec 1954||31 Jan 1956‡||Calcutta HC||Rajendra Prasad|
|3||Mehr Chand Mahajan|
|4 Jan 1954||22 Dec 1954||Lahore HC||Rajendra Prasad|
|2||Mandakolathur Patanjali Sastri|
|7 Nov 1951||3 Jan 1954||Madras HC||Rajendra Prasad|
|1||Hiralal Jekisundas Kania|
|26 Jan 1950||6 Nov 1951†||Bombay HC||Rajendra Prasad|
Facts About Uday Umesh Lalit
- Uday Umesh Lalit (born 9th Nov 1957) is the 49th and current Chief Justice of India, he served as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India previously.
- Justice Lalit is one of the six senior counsels who have been directly elevated to the Supreme Court.
- Uday U. Lalit was born to the family of U. R. Lalit, a former additional judge of the Bombay High Court Nagpur bench and a senior counsel practicing at the Supreme Court of India.
- He is a law graduate from Government Law College, Mumbai.
- Lalit enrolled with the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa as an advocate in June 1983.
- He started his practice with advocate M.A. Rane, who was considered a proponent of the radical humanist school of thought and believed that social work was as important as building a solid legal practice.
- Uday Umesh Lalit shifted his practice to Delhi in 1985 and joined the chamber of senior advocate Pravin H. Parekh. From 1986 to 1992, Lalit worked with former Attorney General for India, Soli Sorabjee.
- On 3rd May 1992, Lalit qualified and was registered as an Advocate-on-Record at the Supreme Court.
- In 2011, a Supreme Court bench of Justices G. S. Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly appointed Lalit as the special public prosecutor for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the 2G spectrum cases, stating that “in the interest of a fair prosecution of the case, the appointment of U. U. Lalit is eminently suitable”.
- On 29th April 2004, Lalit was designated as a senior advocate of the Supreme Court.
- On 10th August 2022, President of India Droupadi Murmu appointed him as the 49th Chief Justice of India.
- He took oath as the 49th Chief Justice of India on 27th August 2022 by President Droupadi Murmu in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- Uday Umesh Lalit is the second direct appointee from the Bar to be appointed as the Chief Justice of India.