Though the Constitution of India does not mention any procedure for appointing the CJI there is a certain
list of conventions that goes for the selection process:
• After the current CJI retires after the age of 65, he recommends his successor to the Union Law Minister, which is based on seniority.
• The law minister forwards the recommendation to the Prime Minister who in turn to the President.
• However, the selection is not defined by age, but by the number of years a judge has been serving in the Supreme Court of India
• In case of two judges of the similar seniority, the one with more number of experiences in High Court, SC or any other court qualifies to be the CJI.
• Sometimes there are exceptions like, the recruitment of Justice AN Ray. He was appointed as CJI in 1973 despite being fourth in seniority after Justices JM Shelat, KL Hegde and AN Grover. The reason being the involvement of other three judges in the landmark case of Indian history: Kesavananda Bharti case.
The actual procedure to appoint the next CJI is laid out in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) between the government and the judiciary.
There is no article in the constitution regarding the appointment of judges. Only the Article 124 (1) of the Constitution says, “There shall be a Supreme Court of India consisting of a Chief Justice of India.”
Article 124 (2) of the Constitution says that every Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President.
The current CJI of India is Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana who is succeeded by Justice SA Bobde. He is the 48th CJI of India.