New Delhi: Outgoing Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Thursday recommended the name Justice U.U. Lalit as his successor, paving the way for a direct appointee from the Bar to become the Chief Justice after a gap of 49 years, reports news agency IANS. Justice Ramana has written to the Union government recommending Justice Lalit, the second senior judge of the Supreme Court, for the next CJI.
Justice Ramana, the 48th CJI who took over as head of the Indian judiciary from S.A. Bobde on April 24, 2021, is scheduled to demit office on August 26 after a tenure of over 16 months.
“Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India Shri Justice N V Ramana today recommended the name of Hon’ble Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit as his successor to the Hon’ble Minister for Law and Justice,” a statement said.
According to the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), which governs the process of appointment of judges in the higher judiciary, the outgoing CJI initiates the process of naming the successor after getting a communication from the Law ministry, reported The Wire. It added that the MoP says the senior-most judge of the apex court is considered fit to hold the office of the CJI and the views of the outgoing head of the judiciary have to be sought “at the appropriate time”.
Justice Lalit, who hails from Maharashtra, will have a relatively short term as the 49th Chief Justice of India -little less than three months – as he will retire on November 8, 2022, reported Live Law.
The Justice who was part of several landmark judgements
Justice Lalit was part of benches which issued several landmark verdicts – including banning the triple talaq practice. In 2019, he had recused from the Ayodhya dispute case, citing his appearance for former Uttar Pradesh P Chief Minister Kalyan Singh in a contempt case in relation to the demolition of Babri Masjid, according to legal news portal LiveLaw.
Justice Lalit, who specialises in criminal law, was designated as a senior advocate by the Supreme Court in April 2004. He was appointed as the special public prosecutor by the top court for the CBI in all the 2G spectrum scam cases. He had also worked with former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee between 1986 and 1992, according to news agency IANS.
Justice Lalit had also headed the bench that had ruled that touching sexual parts of a child’s body or any act involving physical contant with ‘sexual intent’ amounts to ‘sexual assault under section 7 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act.
–INDIA NEWS STREAM