NEW DELHI: Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was sworn in as the 49th Chief Justice of India today, a day after Justice NV Ramana retired from the highest judicial post. President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of India to Justice Lalit at Rashtrapati Bhavan this morning.
Justice Lalit will have a brief tenure of 74 days as the head of India’s judiciary and would retire on 8 November. Justice Lalit On the eve of him taking charge from outgoing CJI NV Ramana, Lalit highlighted three areas in which he intends to work during his tenure.
Justice Ramana had recommended Justice Lalit as his successor in keeping with convention and norms of seniority. The President subsequently confirmed Justice Lalit’s appointment as the new Chief Justice of India or CJI. Yesterday at the farewell function of Justice Ramana, Justice Lalit said that during his tenure of nearly three months 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 has also promised to ensure a clear-cut regime where any urgent matters can freely be mentioned before the respective benches of the top court. He assured that there will be at least one Constitution Bench functioning throughout the year in the Supreme Court. Justice Lalit has also promised to ensure a clear-cut regime where any urgent matters can freely be mentioned before the respective benches of the top 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.”
The outgoing CJI Ramana on his last working day apologised for not being able to list all the pending matters and said the court has been firefighting pendency, which rose alarmingly during the pandemic months. Justice Lalit was a renowned senior advocate before he became the judge of the Supreme 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 Chief Justice of India in January 1971, was the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the top court bench in March 1964.
Justice Lalit was born on November 9, 1957, in Maharashtra’s Solapur. His father, UR Lalit, was an additional judge at the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court and a senior advocate at the Supreme Court. He was later appointed a special public prosecutor for the CBI to conduct the trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case. The outgoing CJI Ramana on his last working day apologised for not being able to list all the pending matters and said the court has been firefighting pendency, which rose alarmingly during the pandemic months.