Home / News / India /  Justice Lalit sworn in as 49th CJI: High profile cases, verdicts and career highlights

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on Saturday was sworn in as 49th Chief Justice of India by taking an oath in front of President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Justice Lalit will have a brief tenure of 74 days as the head of India's judiciary and would demit office on 8 November.

“…would focus on three key areas and one of his top priorities would be to make the listing of cases simple, clear and as transparent as possible," he said at the farewell event of the outgoing  CJI NV Ramana. 

Justice Lalit said, "I have always believed that the role of the Supreme Court is to lay down law with clarity, consistency, and the best possible way to do it is to have larger benches as early as possible, wherever the matters are referred to such benches so that the issues get clarified immediately, the matter has consistency and the people are well aware of what exactly are the contours of the peculiar positions in law."

Here is all you need to know about 49th CJI UU Lalit:

Uday Umesh Lalit will be the second CJI who was directly elevated to the Supreme Court bench from the Bar. Earlier, Justice SM Sikri, the 13th CJI, was the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the top court bench in March 1964.

Justice Lalit shifted his practice to Delhi in January 1986, and in April 2004, he was designated as a senior advocate by the apex court. He was appointed a special public prosecutor for the CBI to conduct trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

He was appointed a special public prosecutor for the CBI to conduct trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

On 13 August, 2014, he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court.

High profile cases that CJI Lalit was involved in: 

Lalit was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014. Since then, he has been involved in delivery of several landmark judgements of the apex court, including the one which held the practice of divorce through instant triple talaq among Muslims illegal and unconstitutional.

In the triple talaq verdict, while the then CJI J S Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting on hold the judgement for six months and asking the government to come out with a law to that effect, justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman and Lalit held the practice as violative of the Constitution.

Among the other important judgements, a bench headed by Justice Lalit had ruled the erstwhile royal family of Travancore has the management right over the historic Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, one of the richest shrines, holding that the rule of "heritability must get attached to a right of Shebait" (servitor) of the temple.

In another significant judgement, Justice Lalit bench had ruled that touching sexual parts of a child's body or any act involving physical contact with 'sexual intent' amounts to 'sexual assault' under section 7 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act as the most important ingredient is sexual intent and not skin-to-skin contact.

Justice Lalit was born on November 9, 1957, in Maharashtra's Solapur. His father, UR Lalit, was an additional judge at the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court and a senior advocate at the Supreme Court. Justice Lalit enrolled as an advocate in June 1983. He specialised in criminal law and practised at the Bombay High Court from 1983 to 1985.


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