CHIEF JUSTICE UU LALIT IS RETIRING ON NOVEMBER 8 THIS YEAR
Uday Umesh Lalit (born 9 November 1957) is the 49th and current Chief Justice of India. Previously, he served as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India. Before his elevation as a judge, he practiced as a senior counsel at the Supreme Court. Justice Lalit is one of the six senior counsels who have been directly elevated to the Supreme Court.
As Chief Justice of India
On 10 August 2022, the President of India Droupadi Murmu appointed him as the 49th Chief Justice of India. He took oath as the chief justice on 27 August 2022 in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He is the second direct appointee from the Bar to be appointed as the Chief Justice of India.
Chief Justice Lalit’s tenure despite being short has brought major administrative changes to the court, a frantic pace of work with each bench of judges having to deal with 60-70 cases per day. Over the years Supreme Court’s number of constitutional bench judgments fell dramatically from an average of 134 in the 1960s to just 2 in 2021, this has led to 53 such critical constitutional cases being left unheard and pending. To reverse this trend Chief Justice U. U Lalit announced that a constitution bench would hear 25 constitutional cases on his first day of office, and under his tenure, at least one constitutional bench has functioned every day. The cases heard include the legality of the Citizenship Amendment Act, the validity of demonetization, the setting up of regional benches of the supreme court, declaring of Muslims as a socially and educationally backward community in Andhra Pradesh, the right to a dignified death, protection of jallikattu, etc.There has also been a decline in the pendency of cases from 70,301 on September 1 to 69,461 on October 1.The supreme court began live-streaming constitutional bench proceedings under his tenure.
Chief Justice Lalit could only appoint one new judge to the Supreme Court, his proposal to appoint four more judges to the court, to fill the vacancies in the court, failed to get the approval of the collegium over procedural differences arising out of the proposal being sent by circulation instead of being presented in a face to face meeting, as the meeting scheduled on September 30 couldn’t take place as one of its members Justice Chandrachud was busy hearing cases till 9:10 PM.As per procedure the Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju wrote to the Chief Justice on October 7 almost a month before his retirement, asking for his recommendations for the appointment of his successor, by convention once this letter is sent the collegium freezes and no new decisions like induction of new judges will be taken till the appointment of next Chief Justice.
JUSTICE CHANDRACHUD TO BECOME THE 50TH CJI
Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud (born 11 November 1959) is a judge of the Supreme Court of India. He is a former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and a former judge of the Bombay High Court. He is currently serving as the executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority. He is set to assume the office of Chief Justice of India in November 2022. He is the son of the longest-serving Chief Justice Y. V. Chandrachud.
Career: Dhananjaya studied law at Delhi University in 1982 at a time when few jobs were available to young law graduates. He worked for a while, as a junior advocate assisting lawyers and judges, including drafting some briefs for Fali Nariman. After graduating from Harvard, Chandrachud first worked at the law firm Sullivan and Cromwell. He described this experience as a “sheer fluke” due to the strong pecking order that existed at that time, and a strong bias against hiring Indians and similar developing countries. Upon returning to India, he practiced law at the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court. He was designated a Senior Advocate by the Bombay High Court in June 1998. That year, he was appointed an Additional Solicitor General of India, a role he held until he was appointed a Judge.
He became a judge at the Bombay High Court from 29 March 2000 until he was appointed Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court. During this time, he was also the Director of the Maharashtra Judicial Academy. He was Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court from 31 October 2013 until his appointment to the Supreme Court of India on 13 May 2016. From 24 April 2021 onwards, he became a part of the Collegium of the Supreme Court of India, which is a body composed of the five senior-most Judges of the Supreme Court of India and is responsible for the appointment of Judges in the Supreme Court of India and all the High Courts. He is the executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority. He is set to become the 50th Chief Justice of India.
Apart from his judicial service, Chandrachud was also a visiting professor of comparative constitutional law at the University of Mumbai and the University of Oklahoma College of Law in the United States. He has lectured at the Australian National University, Deakin University, Melbourne Law School, Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i, and the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.