Another son of a Legal Eagle Rises

Arijit Bose

New Delhi: The senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, Dhananjay Y Chandrachud, took oath as the Chief Justice (CJI). President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Justice Chandrachud as the country’s 50th CJI during a program held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Justice Chandrachud is very well versed in the hallowed corridors of the Supreme Court, where his father was the Chief Justice for nearly seven years and four months, the longest tenure of a CJI in the history of the apex court. He was the Chief Justice from 22 February 1978 to 11 July 1985.

Highly qualified worthy suitor

Justice Dhananjay Yashwant Chandrachud was born on 11 November 1959. His father Yashwant Vishnu Chandrachud was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India and his mother Prabha is a classical musician. He did his BA Honors in Economics from St. Stephen’s College in the national capital. After this he did LLB from Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi. He then earned an LLM and a doctorate in forensic science from Harvard Law School, USA.

Chandrachud was part of many important benches

Justice Chandrachud has been a part of several Constitution Benches and Supreme Court benches that delivered historic judgments. These include Ayodhya land dispute, decriminalization of homosexual relations under Section 377 of the IPC, matters related to the validity of the Aadhaar scheme, Sabarimala issue, grant of permanent commission to women officers in the army, permanent commission to women officers in the Indian Navy.

Justice Chandrachud was a judge of the Bombay High Court from 29 March 2000 to 31 October 2013. After that he was appointed as the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court. Justice Chandrachud was designated a senior advocate by the Bombay High Court in June 1998 and was appointed additional solicitor general in the same year.

‘I have huge responsibilities’

Justice DY Chandrachud, who took over as the 50th Chief Justice of India said that as the successor of Justice UU Lalit, he has huge responsibilities on his shoulders and he hopes to continue the “good work” he started. Addressing the farewell ceremony organized for Lalit, he said that the 49th CJI had a remarkable leadership and was committed to increasing access to justice during his tenure.

Will hold this position for 2 years

Justice Chandrachud will hold this post for two years till November 10, 2024. Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65. He will succeed Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, who had recommended him as his successor on October 11. President Draupadi Murmu appointed him as the next CJI on 17 October.

The Lalit Factor

Ex Chief Justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit was the second CJI of the judiciary to be directly elevated from the Bar to the Supreme Court Bench. Justice Lalit delivered several important judgments during his short tenure of 74 days and took steps like live-streaming of proceedings and changing the procedure regarding listing of cases. On the last working day, the CJI-led Constitution Bench by a 3:2 majority upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment providing 10 per cent reservation in admission and government jobs to people belonging to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).  A CJI-led bench paved the way for the execution of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq. A CJI-led bench granted bail to activist Teesta Setalvad, arrested for allegedly fabricating evidence to implicate innocent people in the 2002 Gujarat riots cases. Also granted bail to Kerala-based journalist Siddiqui Kappan, who was arrested in October 2020 on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh.

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