Friday, September 29, 2023

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit sworn in as 49th CJI by President Murmu

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Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on Saturday took oath as the 49th Chief Justice of India (CJI).

He was administered the oath of office by President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Justice Lalit became the second CJI to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court from the Bar.

The first was Justice Sarv Mittra Sikri, who served as CJI from January, 1971 to April, 1973.

Justice Lalit was born on November 9, 1957 in Solapur town of Maharashtra. His father, Justice U.R. Lalit, served as Judge of the Bombay High Court and is a Senior Advocate. He enrolled as an advocate in June, 1983 and practiced at the Bombay High Court till December, 1985. He moved to the national capital in January, 1986 and was later designated a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court in April, 2004.

He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014 directly from the Bar and will demit office on November 8 this year.

Justice Lalit was part of the majority opinion of the Constitution Bench judgement, which declared Triple Talaq as unconstitutional.

A Bench led by him ordered the handing over of administration of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple from the Travancore Royal Family to a Court-appointed administrative committee.

Last year, he headed a Bench that reversed the controversial “skin-to-skin” judgement given by the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court and held that any physical contact with a minor with sexual intent will be an offence under POCSO, even if there was no direct contact with skin.

Justice Lalit had recently expressed the need to lay down proper guidelines to reduce the element of subjectivity in awarding death sentences and a bench led by him initiated a suo motu case for streamlining the process of consideration of mitigating circumstances in death penalty matters.

Justice Lalit became the Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA) in May, 2021.

As the chief of NALSA, he has initiated several programmes to give impetus for alternate dispute resolution through Lok Adalats and legal aid programmes across the country.

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