Chief Justice of India U U Lalit on the 11th of October recommended to the Centre the name of senior-most judge Supreme Court Justice Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud as his successor. The CJI handed over a copy of his letter of recommendation to Justice Chandrachud at a gathering of SC judges in the top court’s judge’s lounge. On October 7, the government sent a letter to CJI Lalit to recommend his successor. As per the existing norms, the acting CJI names the seniormost judge in the Supreme Court as his successor.
If accepted by the government, Justice Chandrachud would now become the 50th CJI and his oath-taking will be on November 9, a day after the incumbent CJI would leave office. While CJI Lalit has only a short tenure of under three months in office, Justice Chandrachud would have a longer tenure of two years and is due to retire on November 10, 2024.
The President appoints the next CJI on the recommendation of the outgoing CJI under clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution.
Once a new CJI is designated, there is a freeze on the collegium headed by the CJI. The collegium doesn’t make any recommendation for the appointment of new judges until the next CJI assumes charge of the office.
A Law graduate from Delhi University, Justice Chandrachud got his LLM degree and a Doctorate in Juridical Sciences (SJD) from the Harvard Law School, US. He then practised law at the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court and was designated as a senior advocate by the Bombay HC in June 1998.
He also served as the additional solicitor general from 1998 until he was appointed as a judge of the Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000, and also served as the director of the Maharashtra Judicial Academy. Justice Chandrachud took over as the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court on October 31, 2013, and was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court on May 13, 2016. He is also the executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority.
Once Justice Chandrachud takes over, it will be the first time that India will have both father and son as the chief judge of the country’s top court. His Father, Chief Justice Y.V. Chandrachud, was the longest-serving Chief Justice of India.
During his tenure in the SC, Justice Chandrachud passed some very remarkable judgments that played a key role in the Indian judicial system.