Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Thursday set in motion the process of appointment of his successor by recommending the name of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, the most senior judge, to the Centre.
The CJI personally handed over the copy of his letter of recommendation to Justice Lalit.
Justice Ramana, the 48th chief justice of India who took over as head of the Indian judiciary from S A Bobde on April 24, 2021, is scheduled to demit office on August 26 after a tenure of over 16 months.
Justice Lalit, who would be appointed head of the judiciary on August 27, will have a tenure of less than three months as the chief justice of India. He retires on November 8 this year.
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 been part of several landmark judgements including the one which held the practice of divorce through instant 'triple talaq' among Muslims illegal and unconstitutional.
Putting an end to speculative media reports that the official communication has been sent from the office of Law Minister Kiren Rijiju a few days back, an apex court official said the letter was received at the CJI’s office on Wednesday.
“Today (03.08.2022) at 21.30 hrs, the Secretariat of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India has received a communication dated August 03, 2022 from Hon’ble Minister of Law and Justice requesting Hon’ble CJI to recommend the name of his successor,” a statement from Ramana's office said.
According to the convention, the CJI recommends the name of the senior-most judge as the successor. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit is next in seniority to Ramana.
As per the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), which governs the process of appointment of judges in higher judiciary, the outgoing CJI initiates the process of naming the successor after getting a communication from the Law ministry.
The MoP says the senior-most judge of the apex court considered fit to hold the office of the CJI and the views of the outgoing head of the judiciary has to be sought "at the appropriate time”.
The MoP, however, does not specify the time limit for the initiation of the process of recommending the name of the successor CJI.
(With PTI Inputs)