Justice U.U. Lalit appointed 49th Chief Justice of India

He will have a brief tenure as he will demit office on November 8

Updated - August 10, 2022 11:04 pm IST

Published - August 10, 2022 05:42 pm IST - New Delhi

Justice U.U. Lalit. File

Justice U.U. Lalit. File | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was appointed the 49th Chief Justice of India (CJI) on Wednesday after President Droupadi Murmu signed his warrant of appointment.

Justice Lalit will assume charge on August 27, a day after Justice N.V. Ramana demits office as the CJI. Justice Lalit will have a brief tenure as he will demit office on November 8 after holding the charge as the CJI for a little under three months.

Justice Lalit will be the second CJI who was directly elevated to the apex court Bench from the Bar.

Justice S.M. Sikri was the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the top court Bench in March 1964 and went on to become the 13th CJI in January 1971.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India with effect from 27 August, 2022,” a Law Ministry notification said.

While Supreme Court judges retire on attaining the age of 65, judges of the 25 High Courts superannuate at the age of 62.

Justice Ramana congratulated Justice Lalit on his appointment and wished him a glorious tenure as the next CJI.

“Shri Justice Ramana expressed confidence that with his long and rich experience in the Bar as well as on the Bench, Shri Justice Lalit will take the institution of the judiciary to greater heights through his able leadership,” a statement from an official of the Supreme Court said.

Landmark verdicts

Justice Lalit has been part of several landmark judgments, including the one which held the practice of divorce through instant triple talaq among Muslims illegal and unconstitutional. In the triple talaq verdict, while the then CJI J.S. Khehar and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting on hold the judgment for six months and asking the government to come out with a law to that effect, Justices Kurian Joseph, R.F. Nariman and Lalit held the practice as violative of the Constitution.

Before his elevation as a judge, he was appointed a special public prosecutor for the CBI to conduct trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Starting out at the Bombay High Court, he shifted his practice to Delhi in January 1986, and in April 2004, he was designated as a senior advocate by the apex court. He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014.

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