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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

CJI NV Ramana recommends Justice Uday Umesh Lalit as his successor

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As Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana’s tenure is nearing the end, the Ministry of Law & Justice urges the Hon’ble Justice to recommend the name of successor. NV Ramana’s tenure ends on August 26 and following that he handed over a copy of his letter of recommendation, dated August 3, to Justice UU Lalit.

CJI Ramana took over the CJI  from his predecessor S A Bobde on April 24, 2021 as the 48th CJI. He performed his duty for 16 months and to demit office on August 26.

As per the procedure, governing the process of appointment of judges in higher judiciary, the CJI recommends the name of successor after imitation of Law Ministry.

Justice UU Lalit will be acting as CJI for three months following his retirement on November 8.

About Justice U U Lalit

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, who was part of the five-member Constitution bench tasked with hearing the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case, on Thursday (January 10) recused himself from hearing the matter.

His decision came after one of the petitioners in the case pointed out that Justice Lalit was one of the lawyers who represented Kalyan Singh in a case related to contempt of court. Singh was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the Babri Masjid was razed on December 6, 1992.

Petitioner Rajiv Dhawan, who brought up the matter, said he had no objection to the judge hearing the case but Justice Lalit remained firm on his decision. A new bench will be constituted which will hear the case on January 26.

Born on November 9, 1957, Justice UU Lalit is a Supreme Court judge, who used to practice as a senior counsel at the top court before his elevation as judge in the year 2014. He is the sixth senior advocate to be directly elevated to the apex court.

Justice Lalit, who started practicing in the SC in 1986, worked with former Attorney-General of India Soli Sorabjee. He became a senior advocate in SC on April 29, 2004.

The 62-year-old judge earlier represented Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah in two high profile criminal cases involving the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati in Gujarat.

He has built a solid reputation as a SC judge and has been described as a person who deals thoroughly with cases, patient and portrays a sober demeanour while arguing a case.

Lalit has appeared in several high-profile cases including the one involving actor Salman Khan in the black buck poaching case. He has also represented Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in a corruption case and former army chief General VK Singh in a case related to his date of birth.

An SC bench comprising Justice UU Lalit and Adarsh K Goel were also responsible for allowing CCTV cameras in courts to record proceedings. He was one of the judges on a multi-faith bench that heard the triple talaq case in 2017 and struck it down as unconstitutional.

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