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Justice UU Lalit to become CJI after Justice Ramana - Read profile

Outgoing Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Thursday recommended the name Justice U.U. Lalit as his successor

Saturday August 6, 2022 4:56 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Justice Lalit

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.

Justice Lalit, the seniormost judge in the Supreme Court, would be the 49th Chief Justice of India, after the government accepts the recommendation.

74-day tenure

Justice Lalit would be having a short tenure of less than three months as the CJI. He will retire on November 8.

Justice Lalit was elevated to the apex court directly from the Bar on August 13, 2014.

After Justice S.M. Sikri, who was appointed directly from the Bar to the apex court as a judge, Justice Lalit will be the second such CJI. Justice Sikri was the 13th CJI from January 1971 to April 1973.


According to a communication from the top court:

"Chief Justice of India Justice N.V. Ramana today recommended the name of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit as his successor to the Minister for Law and Justice. Justice Ramana personally handed over a copy of his letter of recommendation dated 03.08.2022 to Justice Lalit today (04.08.2022) in the morning."

Chief Justice Ramana, who is set to demit office on August 26 on superannuation, on Wednesday received a communication from the Minister of Law and Justice to nominate his successor.

About Justice Lalit

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.

His father, UR Lalit, was also a lawyer who later became a judge in the Delhi High Court.

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.

In July, during a hearing on a matter, Justice Lalit remarked that if children can go to school at 7 a.m. everyday in the morning, then why can't judges and lawyers come to court at 9 a.m.

Justice Lalit said:

"Ideally, we should sit at 9 in the morning. I have always said that if our children can go to school at 7 in the morning, why can't we come to court at 9?"

The bench also comprising justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia began hearing cases at 9.30 a.m.

A bench headed by Justice Lalit sentenced fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya to four months of imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 2,000 for contempt of court.

Justice Lalit was a part of a five-judge Constitution bench which declared the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional.

Justice Lalit was also part of a Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur which ruled in a 4:3 historic ruling that said seeking votes on the basis of religion, race, caste or language of a candidate or a rival or of the voters is illegal.

Quite interestingly the three dissenting judges were Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud is the next in line on the seniority list of Supreme Court judges to become Chief Justice after Justice Lalit's brief tenure of 74 days.

However what caught the eyes of those closely watching his career is the fact that Justice Lalit, elevated as a judge in SC in 2014 soon after Narendra Modi became prime minister, was the lawyer representing then Gujarat Home Minister and now Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the infamous Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounters case.


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