Chief Justice of Vishwamitra
|Chief Justice of Vishwamitra|
विश्वामित्र के मुख्य न्यायाधीश
|Supreme Court of Vishwamitra|
|Style||His/Her Lordship (formally)|
|Nominator||Minister of Law and Justice|
on the recommendation of the Conference of Rulers, Privy Council and the council of ministers
|Term length||At His Majesty's pleasure|
(One year, de facto)
|Constituting instrument||Article 45 of the Constitution of Vishwamitra|
|Formation||6 December 2015; 7 years ago|
|First holder||Tanishkaa Patranabish|
The Chief Justice of Vishwamitra (Hindi: विश्वामित्र के मुख्य न्यायाधीश) is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of Vishwamitra as well as the highest-ranking officer of the judiciary of the nation. The Chief Justice is appointed by the Rashtradhyaksh, on the recommendation from the union council of ministers and with the approval of the Conference of Rulers and the Privy Council. The chief justice remains in office at the pleasure of the head of state but no chief justice has held a tenure of more than a year.
As head of the Supreme Court, the chief justice is responsible for the allocation of cases and appointment of constitutional benches which deal with important matters of law. The chief justice allocates all work to the other judges (if they are appointed) who are bound to refer the matter back to them (for re-allocation) in any case where they require it to be looked into by a larger bench of judges. On the administrative side, the chief justice carries out the following functions: maintenance of the roster; appointment of court officials; and other general and miscellaneous matters relating to the supervision and functioning of the Supreme Court.
The current chief justice is Charles Burgardt, former Minister of Law and Justice who has been office since 1 July 2023.
The Supreme Court was created following the establishment of the judiciary in Vishwamitra following the constitutional amendments on 6 December 2015. Tanishkaa Patranabish was appointed as the first chief justice of the nation. The office of the head of the highest constitutional court of the nation has been renamed a number of times. From the establishment of the office until 27 January 2017, it was known as that of the Chief Justice of Friends Society. It was renamed as that of the Chief Lawmaker on 27 January 2017 and as the Chief Advisor on 6 January 2019.
At the time of the creation of the court on 6 December 2015, the court only composed of the chief justice. Later on, in 2019, the provisions for the appointment of other judges (then known as advisors) were made who represented the various states and territorial benches in the court.
Article 45(1) of the Constitution of Vishwamitra states that:
There shall be a Supreme Court of Vishwamitra consisting of a Chief Justice of Vishwamitra and, until the Rashtradhyaksh by law prescribes a larger number, of not more than four other judges.
Article 45(4) of the Constitution of Vishwamitra mentions about the procedure for the removal of a judge:
A Judge of the Supreme Court shall not be removed from their office except by an order of the Rashtradhyaksh passed after an address by the House of the People's supported by a majority of the total membership of the House or by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the House present and voting has been presented to the Rashtradhyaksh in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.
List of Chief Justices
|Term began||Term end||Term length|
|6 December 2015||21 March 2016||106 days||Dhrubajyoti Roy|
|First term; Appointed as the first Chief Justice following the establishment of the Supreme Court on 6 December 2015 under the new constitution implemented on the same day. Concurrently served as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha during the tenure as chief justice. Continued to remain in office until resigning from the position upon election as the President on 21 March 2016.|
|21 March 2016||27 January 2017||312 days||Tanishkaa Patranabish|
|Appointed as the second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to succeed Tanishkaa Patranabish upon her election as the President on 21 March 2016. Concurrently served as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha until election as the Prime Minister on 11 April 2016. Tenure ended on 11 July 2016 but was extended for a consecutive second term on 13 July 2016. Stepped down from position on 27 January 2017.|
|27 January 2017||22 April 2017||85 days||Sarala Baishya|
|Second term; Appointed as the Chief Justice for a second term on 27 January 2017 following the resignation of Justice Dhrubajyoti Roy. Removed from office after a controversial event by President Dhrubajyoti Roy on 22 April 2017 but was reinstated on the position the same day by the President.|
|22 April 2017||Less than a day||Dhrubajyoti Roy|
|Acting Chief Justice; Puisine judge at the time of appointment. Appointed as the chief justice upon the controversial removal of incumbent chief justice Tanishkaa Patranabish by the President on 22 April 2017. Despite of being formally appointed to office, she was never sworn-in into office by the President. Served for less than a day until her predecessor Tanishkaa Patranabish was reinstated to office at the end of the day by the President.|
|22 April 2017||3 June 2018||346 days||Dhrubajyoti Roy|
|Re-instated to office of the Chief Justice on the same day hours after being removed by the President. Concurrently also served as the Prime Minister between 5 July and 25 December 2017 and as the President of the Council of Ministers from 14 May 2018. Tenure expired on 27 August 2017 and was extended for a consecutive term until 27 May 2017 which was further extended until 3 June 2018.|
|3 June 2018||11 January 2019||222 days||Dhrubajyoti Roy|
|Appointed as the third chief justice on 3 June 2018 to succeed Justice Tanishkaa Patranabish. Appointment made at a significant moment when the powers of the Supreme Court and the Constitution were curtailed by the constitutional coup of 14 May 2018. Soon after the powers were re-instated in September 2018, the Supreme Court under her presidency passed the judgement declaring the regime of Supreme Leader Dhrubajyoti Roy as unconstitutional and hence invalid and sought him to seek election as the head of state through constitutional process. Further, as Chief Justice, she presided over the temporary installation of Anoushkaa Patranabish as the Acting Head of State on 11 September 2018 and presided over the formal indirect election of Dhrubajyoti Roy as the Executive President the same year. Tenure ended on 3 January 2019 and remained on caretaker basis until 11 January 2019 due to the absence of Chief Justice-designate Arnab Sil.|
|11 January 2019||20 March 2020||1 year, 69 days||Dhrubajyoti Roy|
|Appointed as the fourth Chief Justice on 11 January 2019 upon the expiration of tenure of Justice Sarala Baishya. Concurrently also served as the Minister of Law and Justice on several occasions. As Chief Justice, he headed the bench of judges (advisors) to reject the creation of the position of the Senior Ministers in the federal government and also invalided the appointment of members of parliament as chief ministers of the states. Further, also transferred the power to appoint and remove the chief ministers from the central government and hence the President to the respective state governors. Tenure expired on 10 January 2019 and was extended for another two months which formally ended on 20 March 2020.|
|20 March 2020||7 June 2020||79 days||Dhrubajyoti Roy|
|Appointed as the fifth Chief Justice on 20 March 2020 upon the expiration of tenure of Justice Arnab Sil. Tenure marked by no such significant events requiring the interference of the judiciary except for the case related to the removal of Sarala Baishya from the National People's Congress plenary on grounds for violation of the state code. Tenure ended on 7 June 2020 following the nation's transition to a monarchy.|
|Position vacant (8 June 2020 – 15 February 2021)|
During the period of vacancy of the position of the Chief Justice and the bench of judges, the powers of the judiciary were transferred to the Conference of Rulers.
Anthony R. Clark
एंथोनी आर. क्लार्क
|15 February 2021||14 February 2022||364 days||Dhrubajyoti Roy|
|Appointed as the sixth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the first following the transition to the monarchy in June 2020. No significant judgements passed during the tenure except presiding over advisory matters during the March 2021 general election and the consequent events following the Fall of Chandril. Concurrently also served as the Supreme Judge of the Grand Unified Micronational and presided over the case pursuant to Chandrachur Basu, the disgruntled and former Administrator of Chandril in the GUM Supreme Court who sought for his reinstatement of Vishwamitran dignity which were stripped off following the affairs leading the expulsion of Chandril. Superannuated from office upon completion of tenure on 14 February 2022. Later ennobled as an honorary baron in January 2023 for services to national judiciary.|
|7||Tan Sri Dato Utama Justice
|15 February 2022||15 February 2023||1 year, 0 days||Dhrubajyoti Roy|
|Appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court in December 2021 and later succeeded as the seventh Chief Justice on 15 February 2022 following the superannuation of Justice Anthony Clark the previous day. First non-binary to hold an office of high importance in the nation. During tenure as Chief Justice, also served as nominated member of the short-lived House of Councillors till April 2022. Most notable event during tenure as chief justice was the passing of landmark judgement to expel controversial parliamentarian Thomas Jacobs as a member of the Lok Sabha thus becoming the first sitting parliamentarian to be removed by a court order. Also performed other ceremonial duties such as signing of the order of warrant of election of Bishnu Chetry, Rajpramukh of Uttaranchal as the third Uparashtradhyaksh in July 2022. Initially offered an extension but declined and was later rejected by the Conference of Rulers and the government. Subsequently superannuated upon completion of tenure on 15 February 2023 following which the position of the chief justice fell vacant with the privy council briefly performing the duties of the court. Appointed as a privy councilor upon retirement and served till removal in May 2023 and later being re-invited but declined to join. Ennobled as a baron in April 2022 and promoted as a count in January 2023 and subsequently appointed a Grand Companion of the Royal Vishwamitran Order of Merit with title of Tan Sri in Rashtradhyaksh's Birthday Honours in January 2023 for services to judiciary.|
|Position vacant (15 February – 1 July 2023)|
During the period of vacancy of the position of the Chief Justice and the bench of judges, the powers of the judiciary were transferred to the Privy Council.
|8||Dato Sri Utama Justice
|1 July 2023||Incumbent||154 days||Dhrubajyoti Roy|
|Former Minister of Law and Justice. Appointed as the eighth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on 1 July 2023 ending the approximately five months long vacancy following the superannuation of Justice Carson Snyder.|
Length in office
- Tanishkaa Patranabish – 537 days
- Arnab Sil – 434 days
- Carson Snyder – 365 days
- Anthony Clark – 364 days
- Dhrubajyoti Roy – 312 days
- Sarala Baishya – 222 days
- Anoushkaa Patranabish – 79 days
- Charles Burgardt – 154 days
- First chief justice: Tanishkaa Patranabish (2015)
- Longest-serving chief justice: Tanishkaa Patranabish (537 days)
- Shortest-serving chief justice: Anoushkaa Patranabish (79 days)
- Longest period of vacancy of chief justice: 252 days
- First non-binary chief justice: Carson Snyder