Chief Justice of India (CJI), NV Ramana, has recommended the name of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit as his successor to the central government after he was sent an official request to do the same by Union Minister of Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju. Justice Lalit is currently the Supreme Court’s second senior judge. CJI Ramana will be retiring from his post on August 27.
After Justice S M Sikri in 1971, this will be the first time that a judge will be promoted to the highest judicial post of India from the Bar. Justice Lalit has previously served as a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court before being appointed to the position of Judge.
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Notably, Justice UU Lalit was among the majority of the Constitution Bench judgment, which ruled against the practice of triple talaq. He was also a part of the bench that shifted administrative affairs of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple from Travancore’s royal family to a court-appointed body.
Justice Lalit has had an extensive career as a criminal lawyer, and was a part of many well-publicized cases, including the 2G spectrum scam case, where he was appointed as a Special Public Prosecutor by the Supreme Court.
The Bombay High Court’s ruling that in order to file a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), direct skin contact was necessary, was set aside by a bench featuring Justice Lalit, along with Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi.
Justice Lalit began his career in June 1983 in Mumbai, and then shifted to Delhi in 1986. If the current CJI’s recommendation of his successor is accepted by the Supreme Court and Justice Lalit does become the country’s chief justice, his tenure will, however, only last three months, since he is set to retire from November 8, 2022.