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49th Chief Justice of India

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UPSC Current Affairs

49th Chief Justice of India

  • President Droupadi Murmu appointed Justice Uday Umesh Lalit as the 49th Chief Justice of India.
  • Chief Justice of India V. Ramana on, August 4, 2022 recommended to the government the name of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit as his successor and the 49th Chief Justice of India.
Constitution on appointment of CJI:
  • Article 124(1) says that, there shall be a Supreme Court of India consisting of a Chief justice of India (CJI) and 33 judges (total 34).
  • Article 124(2) states that every judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President of India by warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with such of the judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the states.
  • But the Constitution of India includes no details about how the Chief Justice of India is to be appointed.
  • The procedure to appoint the next CJI is laid out in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) between the government and the judiciary
Memorandum of Procedure of Appointment of Supreme Court Judges:
  • Appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of India should be of the senior most Judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office”.
  • The process, according to the Memorandum, begins with the Union Law Minister seeking the recommendation of the outgoing CJI about the next appointment.
  • The Minister has to seek the CJI’s recommendation “at the appropriate time”. The Memorandum does not elaborate or specify a timeline.
  • Whenever there is any doubt about the fitness of the senior most Judge to hold the office of the Chief Justice of India, consultation with other Judges as envisaged in Article 124 (2) of the Constitution would be made for appointment of the next Chief Justice of India.
  • The Memorandum says that “after receipt of the recommendation of the Chief Justice of India, the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs will put up the recommendation to the Prime Minister who will advise the President in the matter of appointment”.
UPSC Prelims Model Question

Q. With reference to the appointment of Chief Justice of India, consider the following statements:

  1. The constitution of India provides detailed procedure regarding the appointment of CJI.
  2. According to the Indian constitution, the senior most Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed as CJI.

Which of the statement given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

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