Home / News / India /  Who is Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, in line to be the next CJI, part of several landmark judgements. 5 points

Just as the Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Thursday set in motion the process of appointment of his successor, the name that was recommended was of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, the most senior judge. According to reports, the CJI personally handed over the copy of his letter of recommendation to Justice Lalit. Notably, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court Justice U U Lalit, who is in line to become the next Chief Justice of India (CJI), has reportedly been part of various landmark judgements, including the ruling on 'triple talaq'.

Here are the top updates on this big story:

  • Justice U U Lalit, if appointed, will become the second CJI who was directly elevated to the apex court Bench from the Bar. It is important to note that Justice S M Sikri, who became the 13th CJI in January 1971, was the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the top court bench in March 1964.
  • Justice Lalit was born on November 9, 1957, and began his career after he enrolled as an advocate in June 1983 and practised in the Bombay High Court till December 1985. According to PTI report, the Justice shifted his practice to Delhi in January 1986, and in April 2004, he was designated as a senior advocate by the Supreme Court of India. Justice Lalit is reportedly due to retire on November 8, 2022.
  • Among his several landmark judgements, one of the path-breaking verdicts was the August 2017 judgement by a five-judge constitution bench which by a 3-2 majority ruled the practice of divorce through instant 'triple talaq' as "void", "illegal" and “unconstitutional," according to news agency PTI report.
  • Interestingly, in another important judgement, 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, the report said.
  • Another remarkable and landmark judgement was when a bench headed by Justice U U Lalit 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. Quashing the controversial 'skin-to-skin' judgements of the Bombay High Court in two cases under the POCSO Act, the bench had said the high court erred in holding that there was no offence since there was no direct 'skin-to-skin' contact with sexual intent, the report noted.

(With inputs from PTI)

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