Who is Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, set to become India’s next Chief Justice?

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Thursday recommended the name of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, the second senior justice of the Supreme Court, as his successor. India’s outgoing Chief Justice will retire on August 26.

Justice Lalit, who hails from Maharashtra, will have a short tenure as the 49th Chief Justice of India as he will remain in office until November 8, 2022.

Upon his appointment, Justice Lalit will become the second CJI to be directly elevated to the senior bench of the bar, following Justice SM Sikri, who was the 13th CJI in 1971.

Who is Judge Uday Umesh Lalit?

Justice UU Lalit was born on November 9, 1957 to UR Lalit, who was a senior barrister and served as a judge in the Delhi High Court. He studied at the Government Law College in Mumbai and majored in criminal law.

Justice UU Lalit registered as a barrister in June 1983 and practiced in the Bombay High Court until December 1985 before moving to Delhi in January 1986. Between 1986 and 1992 he worked with the former Attorney General Soli J Sorabjee. Justice Lalit was appointed lead counsel by the Supreme Court in April 2004.

He has appeared as an amicus curiae in several cases and was a member of the Legal Services Committee of the Supreme Court of India for two terms. On August 13, 2014, he was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of India. Justice Lalit became the Executive Chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in May 2021.

Notable cases

During his tenure, Justice Lalit appeared in a number of high profile criminal cases including that against Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan accused of money laundering, actor Salman Khan in the black money poaching case and for the corruption of former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Case.

He had also represented Home Secretary Amit Shah in two high-profile cases, including the alleged fake encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati in Gujarat.

He was appointed by the Supreme Court as special prosecutor for the CBI in the 2G scam.

He has also recused himself from several high-profile cases.

In 2014, Justice Lalit recused himself from hearing Yakub Menon’s plea seeking to review the Supreme Court’s order that upheld his death sentence in the 1993 Mumbai serial explosions case.

The following year, Judge Lalit recused himself from hearing a petition demanding a fair trial in the 2008 Malegaon blasts. Previously, Judge Lalit had defended a defendant in that case.

In 2016, he recused himself from hearing a plea seeking an investigation into the disappearance of a key prosecution witness in the trial of Asaram Bapu.

Justice Lalit has also recused himself from hearing the plea of ​​former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala in the teacher recruitment scam case.

In 2019, he recused himself from the Constitution bench appointed to hear the Ayodhya Title Dispute case.

Landmark judgments

Judge Lalit was also part of several landmark verdicts, one of which was delivered in August 2017. The ruling by a five-judge Constitutional bench ruled illegal and unconstitutional the practice of divorce through the “ instantaneous triple talaq among Muslims.

In another judgment in 2020, a bench headed by Justice Lalit ruled in favor of the royal family of Travancore, granting them the rights to administer and manage the historic Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala.

In a judgment that overturned two High Court verdicts, a tribunal led by Justice Lalit ruled that touching private parts of a child’s body, or any act involving physical contact, with “sexual intent” amounts to a “sexual assault” under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO).

First post: STI

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