New Delhi, August 4: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Thursday recommended the name of Justice UU Lalit, the senior-most Supreme Court judge, to be appointed the next Chief Justice of India.
Justice Lalit has been part of several landmark judgments, including the one which held the practice of divorce through instant ‘triple talaq’ among Muslims illegal and unconstitutional. If appointed, Justice Lalit will become the second CJI who was directly elevated to the apex court Bench from the Bar. Justice SM Sikri, who became the 13th CJI in January 1971, was the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the top court bench in March 1964.
Justice Lalit is in line to become the 49th CJI of India on August 27, a day after incumbent Justice NV Ramana demits the office. Justice Lalit, who was a renowned senior advocate, was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014. He has since been involved in delivery of several landmark judgments of the apex court.
One of the path-breaking verdicts was the August 2017 judgment by a five-judge constitution bench which by a 3-2 majority ruled the practice of divorce through instant ‘triple talaq’ as “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”. In another important judgment, a bench headed by Justice Lalit had ruled that the erstwhile royal family of Travancore has the management right over the historic Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, one of the richest shrines, holding that the rule of “heritability must get attached to a right of Shebait” (servitor) of the temple.
Born on November 9, 1957, Justice Lalit had enrolled as an advocate in June 1983 and practised in the Bombay High Court till December 1985. He shifted his practice to Delhi in January 1986, and in April 2004, he was designated as a senior advocate by the apex court. He was appointed a special public prosecutor for the CBI to conduct trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case. Justice Lalit is due to retire on November 8, 2022.