Supreme Court Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud is all set to take the country's apex judicial helm as he was on Monday appointed as the 50th Chief Justice of India (CJI). The appointment order was passed by President Droupadi Murmu days after the outgoing CJI Uday Umesh Lalit recommended Chandrachud's name as his successor.
Chandrachud will take oath as the new Chief Justice on November 9, a day after Lalit retires. The order of the appointment was announced by Union Law & Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju. Chandrachud will serve as the CJI for two years and he has scripted an iconic history as he is going to take on the role that was decorated by his father Y V Chandrachud decades ago.
Y V Chandrachud was the 16th Chief Justice of India and he served from February 1978 to July 1985. Historically, senior Chandrachud is the longest-serving Chief Justice of India as he held the office for seven years. Now, after four decades, his son D Y Chandrachud is all set to become the Chief Justice and it is the first time in India that the father and son served as the Chief Justice of the apex court.
Sharing the appointment notification on Twitter, Union Minister Rijiju tweeted, "In exercise of the power conferred by the Constitution of India, Honourable President appoints Dr Justice D Y Chandrachud, Judge, Supreme Court as the Chief Justice of India with effect from 9th November, 22." Following the appointment, the order was handed over to the CJI-designate by PK Mishra, PM Modi's Principal Secretary, and top officials of the Law Ministry.
In another tweet, Kiren Rijiju wrote, "Extending my best wishes to Justice D Y Chandrachud for the formal oath-taking ceremony on November 9." Justice Chandrachud was appointed as the Supreme Court judge on May 13, 2016, and he will demit office on November 10, 2024. He was part of the benches that delivered crucial verdicts including the Sabarimala issue, the validity of the Aadhaar Scheme, and decriminalising same-sex relations.
Being the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, Chandrachud is a prominent judicial face in the country and the Chandrachud-led bench had also termed the Covid-19 pandemic as a national crisis and recently, he turned heads by legalizing abortion for a single woman. On September 30, a bench headed by Justice Chandrachud sat till 9.10 pm, around five hours beyond the regular working hours, to hear 75 cases before the Dussehra vacation.
Chandrachud was also a part of prominent constitutional benches that penned historical verdicts including the unanimous ruling of the court ordering the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh and the same ruling had also directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque. Chandrachud's dissent against the Aadhaar was crucial during his judicial career as he said that the Aadhaar was unconstitutional and violative of fundamental rights.
Chandrachud's judicial journey
Born in Mumbai in 1959, 62-year-old Chandrachud was raised in a judicial family and he earned his LLB from Delhi University. He went on to pursue Masters in Law at Harvard University and he also earned a Doctorate in Juridical Sciences at Harvard. Before becoming a judge, Chandrachud practised as a lawyer in the Supreme Court and the High Courts of Gujarat, Calcutta, Allahabad, Delhi, and Madhya Pradesh.
In 1998, he was appointed as a Senior Advocate in the Bombay High Court and from 1998 to 2000, he served as India's Additional Solicitor General and during his journey as an advocate, Chandrachud argued for constitutional and administrative law, the rights of HIV+ employees, religious and linguistic minority rights, and labour and industrial regulations.
He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000. After a decade-long service, he took oath as the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court in October 2013. Three years later, in May 2016, he was elevated to a Supreme Court as a judge. After serving in the apex judicial body for five years, Chandrachud now takes the baton to lead India's judiciary for the next two years as the 50th Chief Justice.