• India
  • Aug 04

CJI Ramana recommends Justice Lalit as his successor

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana set in motion the process of appointment of his successor by recommending the name of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit to the Centre in accordance with convention.

The CJI personally handed over a copy of his letter of recommendation to Justice Lalit, next in seniority to Justice Ramana. 

Justice Ramana, the 48th Chief Justice of India who took over as head of the Indian judiciary from S.A. Bobde on April 24, 2021, is scheduled to demit office on August 26 after a tenure of over 16 months.

Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65. 

Process for appointment of CJI

• The Chief Justice of India and the judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President under clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution.

According to the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), which governs the process of appointment of judges in higher judiciary, the outgoing CJI initiates the process of naming the successor after getting a communication from the law ministry. 

The MoP, however, does not specify the time limit for the initiation of the process of recommending the name of the successor CJI.

• Appointment to the office of the CJI should be of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office. 

• The Union minister of law, justice and company affairs would, at the appropriate time, seek the recommendation of the outgoing Chief Justice of India for the appointment of the next Chief Justice of India.

• Whenever there is any doubt about the fitness of the senior-most Judge to hold the office of the Chief Justice of India, consultation with other judges as envisaged in Article 124(2) of the Constitution would be made for appointment of the next Chief Justice of India.

• After receipt of the recommendation of the Chief Justice of India, the Union minister of law, justice and company affairs will put up the recommendation to the Prime Minister who will advise the President in the matter of appointment.

Who is Justice Lalit?

• Justice Lalit, born on November 9, 1957, was enrolled as an advocate in June 1983 and practised in the Bombay High Court till December 1985.  

• He later shifted base to Delhi. Lalit was designated senior lawyer by the Supreme Court in April, 2004. 

• Before being recommended to be appointed as a Supreme Court judge from the Bar, Lalit conducted the trial in 2G matters as special public prosecutor for the CBI. 

• He was appointed a Supreme Court judge on August 13, 2014.

• If appointed, Justice Lalit will have a tenure of less than three months as Chief Justice of India. He will retire on November 8 this year.

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