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Justice UU Lalit takes oath as 49th Chief Justice of India

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Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was sworn in as 49th Chief Justice of India today, a day after the retirement of Justice NV Ramana. President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of India to Justice UU Lalit at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Justice UU Lalit succeeds Justice NV Ramana, who retired on August 26, 2022. Keeping with convention and norms of seniority, Justice Ramana recommended Justice Lalit as his successor. President subsequently confirmed Justice Lalit’s appointment as the new CJI.

Justice Lalit will hold an office for a brief tenure of 74 days as the head of India’s judiciary and would demit office on 8 November 2022.

At the farewell function of Justice Ramana, Justice Lalit said that during his tenure, he will focus on three key areas and one of his top priorities would be to make the listing of cases simple, clear and as transparent as possible.

Justice Lalit also 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.”

Chief Justice N.V. Ramana on Friday termed the pendency of cases a huge challenge and expressed regret for not giving the required attention to issues with a listing of cases and schedule of hearing of matters.

Justice Lalit was a renowned senior advocate before he became the judge of the apex court. He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014.

Justice Lalit will be the second CJI who was directly elevated to the Supreme Court bench from the Bar. Justice SM Sikri, who became the 13th CJI in January 1971, was the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the top court bench in March 1964.

Born on November 9, 1957, in Maharashtra’s Solapur, Justice Lalit enrolled as an advocate in June 1983. He specialised in criminal law and practised at the Bombay High Court from 1983 to 1985.

Lalit shifted his practice to Delhi in January 1986, and in April 2004, he was designated as a senior advocate by the top court.

After the retirement of Justice Lalit on November 8, Justice DY Chandrachud is expected to be appointed as the next CJI, i.e the 50th Chief Justice of India.


The Statesman

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