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Enjoyed every moment of this 37-year-long journey: CJI Lalit on last working day

Chief Justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit said on Monday that he ‘enjoyed every moment’ of this 37-year-long journey in the court, before rising from the Supreme Court Bench on his last working day.

While going down the memory lane, he revealed that his journey as a lawyer at the Supreme Court began by mentioning a case in the early 1980s before the then CJI Y.V. Chandrachud and now, he would now be passing on the baton of the son of the man himself and an eminent  jurist, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

Justice Lalit was scheduled to retire tomorrow but since the Court will remain closed on account of Guru Nanak Jayanti, the ceremonial bench headed by him and also comprising CJI-designate D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Bela M. Trivedi sat in the Supreme Court today, where law officers, Senior Advocates and lawyers lined up to bid farewell to him.

He said the reason behind forming Constitution Benches was because he felt that a person who gets to be a Judge, must have equal opportunity to be part of a Constitution Bench.

He said he had never seen two Constitution Benches sitting simultaneously but on the first day, three benches were sitting.

The CJI noted that it was a sense of great satisfaction, but at the same time, also experienced a great feeling for being able to do something for the bar.

Senior Advocates, along with Attorney General R. Venkataramini, collectively gifted him a present, which the CJI said that he will frame and put in his study room.

A Counsel said that he wished India reached the finals, so that Justice Lalit could attend the finals in Australia. He also appreciated the fitness of both Justice Lalit and Justice Chandrachud.

AG Venkataramini, who was near tears, expressed that Justice Lalit was “leaving without leaving”.

Senior Advocate and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Vikas Singh said he hoped Justice Lalit would finally get the time to watch Cricket. Singh seconded with the Counsel and he hoped India won the semi-final and Justice Lalit got to travel to Australia to cheer for the country in the T20 World Cup 2022.

CJI-designate Justice Chandrachud, while talking about Justice Lalit’s father, who was a Judge at the Bombay High Court and his son Shreeyash Lalit, a practicing lawyer, said that there were three generations of Lalit family in the legal profession.

He announced that the reforms ushered in by Justice Lalit during his 74-day tenure, will continue in future also.

Former AG K.K. Venugopal said during the tenure of Justice Lalit, 24 Constitution Bench cases had been listed and four were disposed of. It has never happened in history before. There have been two or three Constitution Benches, but never four, he added.

ASG Bhati said their careers had been formidable before the CJI.

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