Justice Uday Umesh Lalit is set to be the next Chief Justice of India (CJI) as the current CJI, NV Ramana, today formally recommended his name to the Union Law Minister. Justice Ramana is due to retire on August 26, after which Justice UU Lalit will become the 49th CJI. He will have only 74 days in the chair before retiring at the age of 65 on 8 November.
Justice Ramana, who took over from SA Bobde in April last year, had a tenure of over 16 months.
After Justice UU Lalit, Justice DY Chandrachud is in line to head the country’s judiciary. His father, Justice YV Chandrachud, also remained the CJI – and the longest serving ever, with a seven-year term from 1978 to 1985.
Who is UU Lalit?
The shortest term till date has been 17 days, served by Justice Kamal Narayan Singh in 1991.
Justice Lalit, as CJI, will head the collegium of judges who decide on other matters and appointments of the judiciary. Before becoming a judge in the Supreme Court on 13 August 2014, UU was a senior advocate in the Lalit Court. His father, UR Lalit, was also a lawyer, who later became a judge in the Delhi High Court.
Justice UU Lalit has been a part of several landmark judgments, one of which made headlines for several days, that of divorce among Muslims. The practice of “instant triple talaq” was declared illegal and unconstitutional by a five-judge constitution by a 3-2 majority in an August 2017 decision.
The then CJI JS Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favor of deferring the verdict for six months and asking the government to enact a law to this effect. But Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman and UU Lalit called the practice a violation of the Constitution.
Justices Khehar, Joseph and Nariman have since retired.
In a judgment set aside two judgments of the High Court, a bench headed by Justice Lalit ruled that touching of a child’s private parts of the body, or any act involving physical contact, with “sexual intent” is the protection of children. Under what is considered “sexual assault”. Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act.
In June last year, he became the acting chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and focused on the use of technology.
Born in 1957, he started out as a lawyer in 1983, and practiced in the Bombay High Court until late 1985, according to his profile on the Supreme Court website. He shifted to Delhi in January 1986 and was designated a Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court in April 2004. Ten years later, he became a judge.