Chief Justice of India UU Lalit on Tuesday, 11 October recommended the name of Justice DY Chandrachud (the senior-most Supreme Court judge after him) for the role of next Chief Justice of India.
According to LiveLaw, CJI Lalit had requested all top court judges to assemble at the Judges’ Lounge for the announcement of the next CJI. The letter designating Justice Chandrachud as the next CJI was reportedly handed to the Law Ministry at 10:15 am on Tuesday.
On 7 October, in a bid to start the process of appointment, the Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju wrote to CJI UU Lalit asking him to name his successor.
CJI Lalit will retire on 8 November, following which Justice Chandrachud is slated to take over. The latter’s tenure as CJI will last till 10 November 2024.
SOME LANDMARK JUDGMENTS
Justice Chandrachud has delivered several landmark judgments as an apex court judge including Navtej Singh Johar & Others vs Union of India in which the apex court decriminalised homosexuality.
He was also part of the nine judge bench in Justice KS Puttaswamy and Another vs Union of India, in which the top court affirmed that the right to privacy is protected as a fundamental right.
A prominent free speech advocate, who is known to have called dissent “the safety valve of a democracy”, Justice Chandrachud has been hailed for passing orders protecting free speech and press freedom.
Granting bail to TV news anchor Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case, Justice Chandrachud had said: “Criminal law and its processes ought not to be instrumentalised as a tool of harassment.” Granting bail to journalist Mohammed Zubair , Justice Chandrachud said said:
“India’s freedoms will rest safe as long as journalists can speak truth to power without being chilled by a threat of reprisal.”
He has also been hailed for his pro-women, pro-choice stand on abortion. On 29 Septmeber, an apex court bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, AS Bopanna, and JB Pardiwala passed a judgment extending the benefits of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP Act) to unmarried/single women. The bench also stated that any distinction between unmarried women and married women would not be sustainable.
IN OTHER NEWS…
Justice Chandrachud was also recently in the news after a lawyer circulated a letter against him.
However, the Bar Council of India (BCI) and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), among other lawyers’ bodies immediately rose to Justice Chandrachud’s defence and criticised the complainant for making claims that were “prima facie false”.
MORE ABOUT JUSTICE CHANDRACHUD
Prior to becoming an apex court judge, Justice Chandrachud had served as the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and a former judge of the Bombay High Court.
DY Chandrachud’s father Justice YY Chandrachud was the sixteenth and the longest-serving Chief Justice of India.