CJI Chandrachud took the oath in English and in the name of God in the presence of Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was not present at the event, tweeted, ““Congratulations to Dr Justice D Y Chandrachud on being sworn in as India’s Chief Justice. Wishing him a fruitful tenure ahead.”
His predecessor, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, who demitted office on Tuesday, was also present at the oath-taking ceremony.
Justice Chandrachud as CJI will have a term of two years and will head India’s judiciary until November 10, 2024, a day before he completes 65 years. His father, Y.V. Chandrachud, holds the distinction of being the longest serving CJI, who headed the judiciary from February 22, 1978 to July 11, 1985.
CJI Chandrachud, who describes dissent as the “safety valve of democracy”, has been part of several Constitution benches and landmark verdicts of the top court, including judgments on the Ayodhya land dispute, and the Right to Privacy. He wrote lead judgment for a nine-judge Constitution Bench in the Justice K.S. Puttaswamy Vs. Union of India case, in which it was unanimously held that Right to Privacy constituted a fundamental right.
Recently, a Bench headed by him expanded the scope of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act to include unmarried women for abortion between 20-24 weeks of pregnancy.
CJI Chandrachud has been part of the Benches that delivered path-breaking judgments on decriminalising same-sex relations, after it partially struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. He has also been part of Benches that rule on the validity of the Aadhaar scheme, the Sabarimala issue, and paved the way for permanent commission for women officers in the Armed Forces.
A Bench headed by him also passed several directions to assuage people’s miseries during the COVID-19 crisis, terming the brutal second wave of the pandemic in 2021 a “national crisis”.
CJI Chandrachud, as the senior-most judge after then CJI Lalit, was among the two judges of the Supreme Court Collegium who had objected to the method of “circulation” adopted for eliciting views of its members on the appointment of judges to the top court.
His dissenting or minority views on the Bench of the court are as incisive as his concurring opinions.
CJI Chandrachud was designated as a senior advocate by the Bombay High Court in June 1998 and became Additional Solicitor General in the same year till his appointment as a judge in the Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000.
He went on to become the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court from October 31, 2013 until he was elevated to the top court in May 2016
A graduate in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, CJI Chandrachud completed his LLB from the Campus Law Centre of Delhi University, and obtained his LLM degree and a Doctorate in Juridical Sciences from the Harvard Law School in the U.S. He practised law at the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court, and has been a Visiting Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Mumbai.