CJI Lalit starts innings under father’s gaze | India News

CJI Lalit starts innings under father’s gaze | India News


NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit began his first day in court under the scrutiny of his father, Umesh Ranganath Lalit, a former judge of Bombay HC and a senior advocate of Supreme Court, who took a vantage position in the crowded courtroom on Monday to watch his son hold court proceedings as CJI.
UR Lalit, 90, who had paid with his judgeship for granting bail to an accused arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the Emergency, stood in the front row and, like all other counsels, bowed to the court when his son, Justice UU Lalit, entered the biggest courtroom to take the coveted CJI’s seat. He stood watching the proceedings for a good 20 minutes, turning down offers to take a seat, then bowed before the CJI and left the court.
Chief Justice of India UU Lalit appears to have followed in the footsteps of his father, UR Lalit, who shifted his practice to the Supreme Court after the Emergency was lifted and built a lucrative career in criminal law in the early 1980s, coming to be regarded as one of the leading lights in the field.
CJI UU Lalit too entered the legal profession and within a decade of his practice in the SC, got recognition for his incisive legal mind in criminal law.
Finding senior advocate UR Lalit standing in court, a few senior advocates offered him a seat. But he refused, not wanting to miss even a second of the “first day, first show” of his son in the CJI’s seat. He kept standing at the corner of the front row keenly watching the proceedings.
It is common for relatives and family members to watch from the visitors’ gallery, particularly on the first day of a Chief Justice in the court. As Umesh R Lalit is a senior advocate practising in Supreme Court, he was in his robes and attended the proceedings from the front.
Advocates led by Kapil Sibal and solicitor general Tushar Mehta wished the CJI and assured all cooperation and assistance in court proceedings. As many lawyers were present for mentioning their fresh cases, the newly sworn-in CJI said that a mechanism for mentioning will be devised by Thursday. He said that the original procedure would be adopted as per which every matter that is registered shall be listed on some day or the other and be part of any advance list, and fresh cases may be listed within 10 days.
The tenure of the CJI started with each bench assigned around 60 cases each. Earlier, around 40 cases used to be listed on Mondays and Fridays, called miscellaneous days, as fresh cases are taken for hearing on these days. Many PIL petitioners, who approached the court two years ago but their pleas were not taken up for hearing so far, thanked the CJI for accepting their petitions. Over 900 petitions were listed before 15 benches, which included 140 PILs and writ petitions.


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