Govt initiates process for appointment of 50th Chief Justice of India : The Tribune India

Govt initiates process for appointment of 50th Chief Justice of India

Law Minister writes to CJI Lalit; requests him to name his successor

Govt initiates process for appointment of 50th Chief Justice of India

Photo used for representational purpose only. File Photo



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7

A month before the retirement of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, the Government on Friday initiated the process for appointment of a new CJI as Law Minister Kiren Rijiju formally requested him to recommend the name of his successor.

“As per the MoP (Memorandum of Procedure) on appointment of Chief Justice of India and Supreme Court Judges, today the Hon’ble Minister of Law and Justice sent a letter to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India for sending his recommendations for appointment of his successor,” the Ministry of Law and Justice tweeted.

Justice Lalit – the 49th CJI -- is due to retire on November 8 and his successor would be administered the oath of office by the President on November 9, 2022.

He is expected to recommend the name of Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud -- the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court -- for appointment as the 50th CJI. Justice Chandrachud will have a two-year tenure as the CJI. His father Justice YV Chandrachud was the 16th CJI during 1978-85.

There has been a convention of the CJI recommending the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court as his successor. Only twice, it was not followed – Justice AN Ray was appointed the CJI on April 25, 1973 superseding three senior-most judges and Justice MH Beg was appointed the CJI on January 29, 1977 superseding Justice HR Khanna.

As per convention, after recommending the name of his successor, CJI Lalit can’t hold Collegium meetings to clear names for appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges and the names proposed earlier will have to be discussed afresh after the Collegium is reconstituted with the induction of a new member.

In a departure from convention, CJI Lalit had earlier circulated a letter to fellow Collegium members seeking their written consent for elevation of Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Ravi Shankar Jha, Patna High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Karol, Manipur High Court Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar and senior advocate KV Viswanathan to the top court.

But two Collegium members had reportedly objected to it, insisting that any decision on judicial appointments had to be taken after proper discussion which was not possible through the letter circulated by the CJI. Now, the Collegium’s decisions on judicial appointments would be practically on hold for a month until Justice Lalit’s successor takes over as the new CJI.

#Justice UU Lalit

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