Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was sworn in as the 49th Chief Justice of India today by President Droupadi Murmu. He was directly elevated to the Supreme Court bench from the Bar.
The 13th Chief Justice of India, Justice SM Sikri was the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the top court bench in March 1964. And now UU Lalit will be the second CJI to do so.
Justice NV Ramana retired from the highest judicial post yesterday. Outgoing Justice Ramana recommended Justice Lalit as his successor as per the convention and norms of seniority. President Murmu subsequently confirmed the new Chief Justice of India or CJI’s appointment.
Outgoing CJI Ramana’s farewell speech highlights –
- He apologised for not being able to list all the pending matters and said the court has been firefighting pendency, which rose alarmingly during the pandemic months.
- During his tenure of nearly 3 months, he focused on 3 key areas and one of his top priorities was to make the listing of cases simple, clear, and as transparent as possible.
After taking oath as India’s CJI, 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.
Also promised to ensure a clear-cut regime where any 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.
Who is Justice Uday Umesh Lalit?
Lalit was born on November 9, 1957, in Maharashtra’s Solapur. His father, UR Lalit, was an additional judge at the Nagpur seat of the Bombay High Court and a senior advocate at the Supreme Court. Equity Lalit enlisted as an advocate in June 1983. He worked in criminal regulation and rehearsed at the Bombay High Court from 1983 to 1985.
He moved his practice to Delhi in January 1986, and in April 2004, he was assigned as a senior advocate by the top court.
He was subsequently designated an extraordinary public examiner for the CBI to lead the preliminary in the 2G spectrum case.
Justice Lalit will have a brief tenure of only 74 days as the head of India’s judiciary and would retire on 8 November 2022.
Justice DY Chandrachud is expected to be the successor of Lalith and become the 50th Chief Justice of India.