Justice UU Lalit Appointed 49th Chief Justice Of India; To Take Charge On Aug 27

Justice UU Lalit will take charge on August 27, a day after CJI NV Ramana demits his office on August 26.

By Talibuddin Khan
Updated: Wed, 10 Aug 2022 06:17 PM IST
Minute Read
Justice UU Lalit Appointed 49th Chief Justice Of India; To Take Charge On Aug 27
File image of Justice UU Lalit (Left) with the incumbent CJI NV Ramana (Right). (ANI Photo)

Supreme Court judge Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on Wednesday appointed as the 49th Chief Justice of India. The development came after President Droupadi Murmu signed his warrant of appointment following the recommendations by incumbent CJI NV Ramana. Justice UU Lalit will take charge on August 27, a day after CJI NV Ramana demits his office on August 26.

"In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India with effect from 27 August, 2022," a law ministry notification said. Justice Lalit will have a brief tenure of fewer than three months. He will turn 65 on November 8 when he demits office.

A renowned lawyer, Justice UU Lalit is only the second CJI to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court bench from the bar. Earlier, Justice SM Sikri, who was the 13th Chief Justice of India, became the first lawyer to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court bench from the bar in March 1964. Justice SM Sikri was appointed CJI in January 1971.

Born on November 9, 1957, in Maharashtra's Solapur, Justice UU Lalit started his practice in the early 1980s. He was enrolled in as an advocate by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa in June 1983. He practised in Bombay High Court till December 1985 before shifting his practice to Delhi in January 1986.

From 1992 till 2002, he practised as an Advocate on Record until he was designated as a Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court in April 2004. He was also the public prosecutor for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct the trials in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Since his elevation as a judge, Justice UU Lalit has been a part of some landmark judgements. He was among the 5-judge bench of the top court which held the practice of triple talaq among Muslims unconstitutional.

While the then Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting on hold the judgement for six months and asking the government to come out with a law to that effect, Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman and U U Lalit held the practice as violative of the Constitution.

Justice UU Lalit also quashed the contentious 'skin-to-skin' judgement of the Bombay High Court in two cases under POCSO Act. The bench headed by him had ruled that the most important ingredient was sexual intent and not skin-to-skin contact.

The bench had said the high court erred in holding that there was no offence since there was no direct ‘skin-to-skin’ contact with sexual intent. "Touching sexual parts of a child’s body or any act involving physical contact with ‘sexual intent’ amounts to ‘sexual assault’ under POCSO Act", the bench had said.

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