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Justice UU Lalit sworn in as the 49th Chief Justice of India, President Murmu administered the oath

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit took oath as the 49th Chief Justice of India a day after Justice N V Ramana demitted office. President of India Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Justice U U Lalit.

Justice Lalit will have a short tenure of under three months. He will demit office on November 8. He will be the second CJI after Justice Sikri who was directly elevated from the bar to the Supreme Court bench. Justice Sikri was the 13th CJI from January 1971 to April 1973.

Justice S M Sikri, who became the 13th CJI in January 1971, was the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the top court bench in March 1964.

Today, The oath taking ceremony was held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, former Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, former President Ram Nath Kovind, Supreme Court Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, S. Abdul Nazeer, M.R. Shah, Dinesh Maheshwari, as well as other apex court judges and dignitaries.

After being sworn in, Justice Lalit sought the blessings of his family elders by touching their feet, including that of his 90-year-old father and former high court judge Umesh Ranganath Lalit.

The CJI said, “Indian judiciary has grown with time and it cannot be defined or judged by one single order or judgement.”

President Droupadi Murmu administered him the oath during a brief ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. “Congratulations,” President Murmu said after Justice Lalit signed the register of oath following the swearing-in.

On the issue of listing of matters, CJI Lalit said, “I must assure you that we will strive hard to make the listing as simple, as clear, and as transparent as possible”.

Regarding mentioning of urgent matters, Justice Lalit said he would certainly look into it. “I will have a word with all my learned colleagues on the bench and we will certainly sort that out and very shortly, you will have a clear-cut regime where any urgent matter can freely be mentioned before the respective courts,” he said.

During Justice Lalit’s tenure as the CJI, several important cases, including Constitution bench matters, are likely to come up for adjudication before the apex court. The top court had recently notified that 25 five-judge Constitution bench matters would be listed from August 29.

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