Justice Uday Umesh Lalit took oath as the 49th Chief Justice of India today.
By The Space
By Apekshita Sonowal
Justice Lalit was sworn in as the 49th Chief Justice of India on Saturday, August 27. The oath of office was administered by the newly appointed President of India, Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Union ministers, and Justice Lalit’s predecessor, Justice NV Ramana, graced the oath-taking ceremony.
Reportedly, Justice NV Ramana who retired on August 26 had recommended Justice Lalit as his successor in keeping with convention and norms of seniority. After which, the President appointed Justice Lalit as the new CJI.
Furthermore, the newly appointed CJI, Justice Lalit will focus on three key areas, he said while speaking at the farewell function for Justice N V Ramana organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Friday.
"I must assure you that we will strive hard to make the listing as simple, as clear, and as transparent as possible," he further stated.
Justice Lalit is the second CJI to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court bench from the Bar. The first one was Justice S M Sikri, who became the 13th CJI in January 1971 to be elevated directly to the apex court bench in March 1964.
Justice Lalit further promises to ensure a clear-cut regime where all sorts of urgent matters can freely be mentioned before the respective benches of the top court. He assured that there will be at least one Constitution Bench functioning throughout the year in the Supreme Court.
Justice Lalit said, "I have always believed that the role of the Supreme Court is to lay down law with clarity, consistency, and the best possible way to do it is to have larger benches as early as possible, wherever the matters are referred to such benches so that the issues get clarified immediately, the matter has consistency and the people are well aware of what exactly are the contours of the peculiar positions in law."
Justice Lalit was a renowned senior advocate before he became a judge of the Supreme Court i.e., on August 13, 2014. Born on November 9, 1957, in Maharashtra's Solapur, his father, UR Lalit, was also an additional judge at the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court and a senior advocate at the Supreme Court. Justice Lalit enrolled as an advocate in June 1983. He specialized in criminal law and practiced at the Bombay High Court from 1983 to 1985.
He shifted his practice to Delhi in January 1986, and in April 2004, he was designated as a senior advocate by the top court.
He was later appointed a special public prosecutor for the CBI to conduct the trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
Justice Lalit is to have a short tenure of 74 days as the Head of India's judiciary and is reportedly due to retire on November 8.
Justice DY Chandrachud is to be appointed as the next, 50th Chief Justice of India on completion of Justice Lalit's tenure.