CJI – Powers, and Functions, here is everything you need to know

The Chief Justice of India is one of the most important people in India

The CJI is the head of the Indian Judiciary and of the Supreme Court of India- the apex court in the country.

Sharad Arvind Bobde is the 47th and current Chief Justice of India. He succeeded Ranjan Gogoi.

So, how is the CJI appointed?

  • He is appointed by the President of India after consultation with judges of the Supreme Courtand high courts as he deems necessary.
  • The CJI is usually the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court. However, this trend was broken in 1973 when A N Raywas appointed and in 1977 when M U Beg was appointed. They both had superseded the senior-most judges at that time.
  • In the Second Judges Case of 1993, the SC set that the senior-most judge must be appointed as the CJI.


Salary and Allowance

The Constitution of India has given the power to the Parliament to decide the salaries, allowances, privileges, leave and pension of the judges of the Supreme Court as well as the CJI. However, this cannot be altered to their disadvantage after they have been appointed. It can be altered only when there is a financial emergency.  

Read more: Explained: What is Geographical Indicator & what does it mean?

Powers of the CJI

  • The President has to consult the CJI when appointing judges. The CJI is the head of the collegium that decides the appointment of judges. IT also includes 4 senior-most judges of SC.
  • He is responsible for allocating the cases and appointment of constitutional benches. Hence, he is known as the ‘master of the roster’.
  • He swears in the President of India.
  • In case the office of President and Vice President are both vacant, the CJI acts as the President of the country.
  • In the table of Precedence, he is in position six with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.


Article 124(4) in the Constitution of India lays down the procedure for removal of SC judges and the CJI. They can only be impeached through the process mentioned in the Constitution.

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