Honourable Justice Shri SA Bobde was born to the family of lawyers and Jurists. His father was a lawyer who had served as Advocate General in Maharashtra. His elder brother, late Shri Vinod Arvind Bobde was a senior Supreme Court lawyer and a constitutional expert. Justice Bobde grew up in Nagpur, Maharashtra. He happens to be the second person from the city of Nagpur, after Justice Mohammed Hidyatullah, to occupy the highest chair at the apex court of India. He completed his law from Nagpur University in 1978 and was later enrolled in the bar. He used to appear before the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court and was subsequently designated as a Senior Advocate in 1998. He was appointed as an additional judge of Bombay High Court on March 9, 2000. He was elevated as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court in October, 2012. In April, 2013, he was again elevated as the judge of the Supreme Court.
In ‘Justice Jasti Chelameswar Endowment Lecture’ organized at Andhra University, he had observed that “The Rule of Law has its origin in India. The rule of law, known as Dharma in ancient India is the foundation of various laws today. It would be a mistake to equate dharma with religion. While religion divides people, Dharma united them.” Referring to Mahabharata, he recalled the words of Gandhari: ‘May the righteous one win’. This he believed is one of the earliest statements of the rule of law and also the motto of the Supreme Court.
He is also serving as the Chancellor at Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai. Being one of the senior-most judges, he shall be the Chief Justice of India effectively from November 19, 2019. He shall retire from his tenure on April 23, 2021.
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