Chief Justice UU Lalit asked to name his successor, sources say

The Chief Justice of India, U.U. Lalit has been requested by the Central government to suggest a replacement.

“As per the MoP on the appointment of the Chief Justice of India and Supreme Court judges, today the Minister of Law and Justice sent a letter to the Chief Justice of India for sending his recommendations for the appointment of his successor,” the Ministry of Law and Justice stated in a tweet.

On November 8, Justice Lalit will retire, and in accordance with custom, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud will be recommended for the position based on seniority. He is most likely to be chosen by Justice Lalit as the new CJI.

According to the convention, a month before retirement, the government sends a letter to the departing CJI, who in turn suggests the name of the most senior judge as the replacement. The incumbent CJI typically does not decide on the recommendation for the appointment of new judges after the name of the senior-most judge is suggested. Typically, the current CJI hands it off to the new CJI.

Due to the ongoing impasse over the idea to suggest new judges, the collegium led by Chief Justice Lalit may also not be able to submit a candidate to the Centre to fill the four open Supreme Court judge positions. The recommendation to suggest four new judges, including an apex court lawyer, to the top court through a written letter rather than a formal meeting has been resisted, according to sources, by two of the five members of the apex court collegium.

The collegium is presided over by the Chief Justice of India, who wrote to its four members, Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, S.K. Kaul, S. Abdul Nazeer, and K.M. Joseph, earlier this month to request their approval for the elevation of Chief Justices of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Patna High Court, Manipur High Court, and Senior Advocate K.V. Viswanathan.

On October 10, following the Dussehra vacation, the supreme court will reopen. Dipankar Dutta, the chief justice of the Bombay High Court, has been recommended for promotion as a judge of the supreme court as far by the collegium led by the CJI.

(With inputs from IANS)

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