Who is Justice UU Lalit? SC judge slated to become CJI, was part of Triple Talaq verdict
If Justice UU Lalit’s appointment is cleared as the next Chief Justice of India, he will become India’s second CJI to have been directly elevated to Supreme Court from the bar and then reaching to the top post.
New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana on Thursday recommended the name of Justice UU Lalit as his successor. The development comes a day after Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju sought CJI Ramana’s recommendation for the next Chief Justice of India.
Justice Lalit will take oath as 48th Chief Justice of India, however, he will have a very short tenure of just 74 days. Serving the given term, the Justice Lalit will retire on November 8, following which Justice DY Chandrachud is the topmost judge in hierarchy to take over as the 50th Chief Justice of India.
If Justice UU Lalit’s appointment is cleared as the next Chief Justice of India, he will become India’s second CJI to have been directly elevated to Supreme Court from the bar and then reaching to the top post. Before him, Justice SM Sikri enjoyed this distinction. In January 1971, he was among the first lawyer to be elevated to the Apex Court & become India’s 13th CJI.
Justice Lalit’s elevation & landmark judgements
Justice Lalit was handpicked as the judge of Supreme Court on August 13, 2014. Prior to that, he served as senior advocate in the Apex Court. His father Justice UR Lalit was a judge in the Delhi high court and also served as a senior advocate.
Presently, he is the second senior most judge in the Apex court. He got himself enrolled as Advocate in June 1983 and practised in Bombay High Court till December 1985 and then shifted base to Delhi a year later.
During his stint as lawyer, Justice UU Lalit appeared as Amicus Curiae in many matters. He was also appointed Special Public Prosecutor for CBI in all 2G matters.
Notable judgements by Justice UU Lalit
Justice U U Lalit, in line to become the next CJI, has been part of several landmark judgements including the Triple Talaq which declared the practice illegal & unconstitutional. In the August 2017 judgement, the five-bench Constitution Bench ruled the practice of instant triple talaq as void & illegal.
While then CJI JS Khehar & Justice Abdul Nazeer favoured putting on hold judgement for 6 months and rather allowing govt to frame a law, Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman and U U Lalit held the practice illegal.
Another notable judgement was when he quashed the controversial skin to skin judgements of the Bombay High Court under the POCSO Act. A bench headed by him clearly outlined the ‘shortcomings’ of judgement as it said that the High Court had erred in saying that there was no sexual offence as there was no skin-to-skin contact.