President Droupadi Murmu Wednesday appointed Justice Uday Umesh Lalit as the 49th Chief Justice of India. Justice Lalit will succeed Justice NV Ramana who is due to retire on August 26.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India with effect from August, 2022,” a government notification said.
Justice Lalit, who will assume charge on August 27, will have a relatively short tenure of over three months and is due to retire on November 8. He will also only be the second CJI to have been appointed directly from the Bar without serving as a judge of a high court. Justice SM Sikri, who was CJI from January 1971 to April 1973, is the only other CJI who was directly appointed from the Bar.
Justice Lalit enrolled as an advocate in June 1983 and worked in the chambers of former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee.
He was one of the country’s top criminal lawyers before being appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in August 2014. His father, U R Lalit, was an Additional Judge of the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court from 1974 to 1976.
Justice Lalit has been part of several important rulings in the SC and headed the bench that last month sentenced Vijay Mallya, who was found guilty of contempt of court in 2017, to four months’ imprisonment and fine of Rs 2,000. He also headed the bench that convicted the fugitive businessman for contempt in May 2017.