CJI Ramana, who retires on August 26, dispatched the recommendation letter to law minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday morning and then invited Justice Lalit to his chamber to hand him over a copy of the letter. Justice Lalit who would be sworn in by the President as CJI on August 27, would have a 74-day tenure and retire on November 8.
Justice Lalit, born on November 9, 1957, had enrolled as an advocate in June 1983. After practising for two years in the Bombay HC, he shifted to Delhi in January 1986 and was designated as a senior advocate by the SC in 2004. Son of former HC judge U R Lalit, he was a preferred amicus curiae by benches of the SC. The SC bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi had appointed Lalit as the special public prosecutor in the 2G spectrum sale scam cases. He was appointed a judge of the SC on August 13, 2014.
As senior advocate, Lalit had earned a name as a criminal law practitioner like his father U R Lalit. Both practised in the SC. Sr Lalit was an additional judge in the Delhi high court when the then Indira Gandhi government had imposed emergency in 1975. But he was among the few bold HC judges who went by the law and defied political pressure to keep granting bail to undertrial political prisoners. Predictably, the government wreaked vengeance and did not confirm Sr Lalit as a HC judge.