President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday appointed Justice Uday Umesh Lalit as the 49th Chief Justice of India, with effect from August 27.
Justice Lalit will become the second CJI, after Justice S M Sikri, to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court Bench from the Bar. Justice Sikri became 13th CJI in January, 1971.
Justice Lalit, a native of Maharashtra, will have a relatively short term, more than just two months, as he is set to retire on November 8.
Before his elevation as a Judge of the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014, Justice Lalit was a Senior Advocate at the Apex Court. His father Justice U.R. Lalit was a senior advocate and an Additional Judge of the Delhi High Court.
On August 4, Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana had recommended the name of Justice Lalit as his successor to Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju.
Justice Ramana personally handed over a copy of his letter of recommendation to Justice Lalit.
Earlier on August 3, at 2130 hrs, the Secretariat of the CJI had received a communication from the Union Minister of Law and Justice, urging him to name his successor.
CJI Ramana is set to retire on August 26.
The Memorandum of Procedure for the appointment of the Chief Justice of India says that the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs will, at an ‘appropriate time,’ seek the recommendation of the outgoing Chief Justice of India for the appointment of the next Chief Justice of India.
Though there is no specific timeline, but as per practice, the Ministry seeks the outgoing CJI’s recommendation a month before the retirement.