Justice Uday Umesh Lalit appointed 49th Chief Justice of India


Justice Uday Umesh Lalit has been appointed as the Chief Justice of India by President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday, August 10.  After Justice SM Sikri, who served as the 13th CJI in 1971, Justice Lalit will become the second CJI to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court from the bar.

Justice Lalit who will assume charge after Justice N.V. Ramana demits office as the CJI, has served as a Member of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee for two terms and he was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of India in August 2014 by the Bar.

Justice Lalit will have a brief tenure as his term in office will end on November 8 after holding the charge as the CJI for a little under three months. The Indian Constitution specifies that the retirement age for judges of the Supreme Court is 65 while that of the 25 High Courts in India is 62.

A statement issued by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice on Wednesday, August 10, said: “In exercise of the power conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President has appointed Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Judge of the Supreme Court as the Chief Justice of India. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit will take over as the 49th Chief Justice of India on 27th August 2022.”

Justice U.U. Lalit has to his credit several landmark judgments. Born on November 9, 1957, at Solapur, Maharashtra, Justice Lalit was enrolled as an advocate by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa in June 1983. He practiced in the High Court of Bombay till December 1985 before shifting his practice to Delhi in January 1986.

He worked in the chambers of Shri Soli J. Sorabjee from October 1986 till 1992 and was on the panel of lawyers for the Union of India during the period Soli J. Sorabjee was Attorney General for India. From 1992 till 2002 he practiced as an Advocate on Record and was designated as Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court in April 2004. He was also appointed Amicus Curiae in many important issues, including forest matters, vehicular pollution, pollution of Yamuna etc. He was appointed as Special Public Prosecutor for CBI under the orders of the Supreme Court to conduct trial in all 2G matters.