The Supreme Court collegium met on Tuesday, 2 August, to discuss the appointment of the next Chief Justice of India (CJI) as the incumbent CJI, NV Ramana, will be retiring on 26 August. Justice UU Lalit is set to take oath as the next CJI on 27 August.
The collegium headed by CJI NV Ramana comprises Justices UU Lalit, DY Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and Abdul Nazeer.
On Tuesday, the collegium also discussed the appointments of judges in the apex court and the transfer of high court judges. However, no consensus was reached, reported NDTV.
A section of judges was of the view that the decision regarding the appointments of judges to the top court should be made after the next CJI takes over, reported The Indian Express.
The apex court has three vacancies as Justices Vineet Saran, LN Rao, and AM Khanwilkar retired recently.
Collegium To Meet Again Today
The collegium is likely to meet again on Wednesday.
According to the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), the document which governs the appointment of the CJI and judges, the Law Ministry is required to send a letter to the outgoing CJI, asking him to recommend the name of the next CJI. Usually, this takes place a month before the retirement of the incumbent CJI. There, however, has reportedly been a delay this time.
As per the MoP, the "senior most judge of SC considered fit to hold office" should be appointed as the CJI. It states that recommendations for the same should be sought from the outgoing CJI "at appropriate time." However, it does not mention any timeframe for the process.
On Tuesday, the Public Relations Officer of the Supreme Court said "no note/letter regarding recommendation of (the) successor (has been) received in the office of the Hon’ble Chief Justice."
More About Justice Lalit
After the appointment, Justice Lalit, who is the senior-most judge of the SC after the current CJI, will be holding office for three months until he retires on 8 November 2022.
Born on 9 November 1957, Justice Lalit enrolled as an advocate in June 1983. He practised in the High Court of Bombay till December 1985, after which he shifted his practice to Delhi in January 1986.
Designated as a senior advocate by the Supreme Court in April 2004, he appeared as amicus curiae in many matters.
He was appointed as a special public prosecutor for the CBI to conduct the trial in all 2G-related cases.
(With inputs from NDTV and The Indian Express.)