Monday, August 15, 2022

UU Lalit to be next chief justice

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit is set to be the next Chief Justice of India (CJI) as the current CJI, NV Ramana, Thursday formally recommended his name to the Union Law Minister.
Justice Ramana is due to retire on August 26, after which Justice UU Lalit will take over, becoming the 49th CJI. He’ll have only 74 days in the chair before he retires on November 8 at the age of 65.
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 next in line to head the country’s judiciary. His father Justice YV Chandrachud remained CJI, too — and the longest-serving so far, with a seven-year tenure from 1978 to 1985.
The shortest tenure so far has been 17 days, served by Justice Kamal Narain Singh in 1991.
Justice Lalit, as CJI, will head the collegium of judges that decides on appointments and other matters of judiciary.
Before being elevated to judgeship in the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014, UU Lalit was a senior advocate in the court. His father, UR Lalit, was also a lawyer who later became a judge in the Delhi High Court.
Among several landmark judgements that Justice UU Lalit he’s been part of, one that made headlines for several days was on divorce among Muslims. The practice of “instant triple talaq” was held as illegal and unconstitutional in the verdict of August 2017 by a five-judge Constitution, by a 3-2 majority.
The then CJI JS Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting the judgment on hold for six months and asking the government to come out with a law to that effect. But Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman and UU Lalit held the practice as to be violative of the Constitution.
Justices Khehar, Joseph and Nariman have since retired.
In a judgment that overruled two high court verdicts, a bench headed by Justice Lalit ruled that touching private parts of a child’s body, or any act involving physical contact, with “sexual intent” amounts to “sexual assault” under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
In June last year, he became executive chairperson of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), and focused on use of technology.
Born in 1957, he started out as a lawyer in 1983, and ran his practice at the Bombay High Court till the end of 1985, as per his profile on the Supreme Court website. He shifted to Delhi in January 1986 and was designated Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court in April 2004. Ten years later, he became a judge.


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