U.U. Lalit: Former Chief Justice of India

Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit born on November 9, 1957 in Solapur, Maharashtra. He is one of six senior counsels who have been promoted directly to the Supreme Court. He previously served as a Judge of the Indian Supreme Court. He was a senior attorney at the Supreme Court prior to being promoted to the position of judge. He was preceded by Justice N.V. Ramana and succeeded by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

Early Life and Education

Justice’s father U.R. Lalit is a senior advocate of Supreme Court and also a former Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court Nagpur Bench. He is originally from Konkan, his family relocated to Solapur when his grandfather Ranganath Lalit started working as a lawyer. When Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi visited Solapur, Ranganath Lalit presided over two different municipal receptions. Justice Lalit graduated from Government Law College in Mumbai and attended Haribhai Deokaran High School in Solapur.


Justice Uday Umesh Lalit began his legal career during the following time period:

  • In June 1983, Justice registered as an advocate with the Maharashtra and Goa Bar Council.

  • He started his practice with lawyer M.A. Rane, who was regarded as a supporter of the radical humanism school of thought and thought that developing a strong legal practice was as vital to doing social work.

  • In 1985, he relocated his practice to Delhi and joined the office of senior attorney Pravin H. Parekh. Lalit collaborated with Soli Sorabjee, a former Attorney General for India, from 1986 until 1992.

  • Lalit was qualified to practice law and enrolled with the Supreme Court as an Advocate-on-Record on May 3, 1992. Lalit was appointed a senior Supreme Court attorney on April 29, 2004.

  • Lalit was appointed as the special public prosecutor for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the 2G spectrum cases by a Supreme Court bench of Justices G. S. Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly in 2011. The court stated that Lalit's appointment was "eminently suitable" in the interest of a fair prosecution of the case.

  • He was appointed by the President of India Droupadi Murmu to serve as the 49th Chief Justice of India. On August 27, 2022, he took his oath to serve as chief justice of India in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Fact Detail
NameUday Umesh Lalit
Date of Birth9th November 1957
Alma MaterGovernment Law College, Mumbai.
Official Tenure27th August 2022 – 8th November 2022
PresidentDroupadi Murmu
Preceded byN. V. Ramana
Succeeded byDhananjaya Y. Chandrachud
As Judge
Judge of the Supreme Court of India

Chief Justice of India

Notable Judgments

The notable judgments are:

Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan vs. The State Of Maharashtra (AIR 2018 SC 1498)

In this case, three procedural safeguards were added by Justices Lalit and A.K. Goel to stop the "misuse" of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. They concluded that in order to properly implement the Act's provisions for anticipatory bail, the police must first undertake a preliminary investigation before filing a FIR and get further permission from the investigating officer before making an arrest.

Shayara Bano vs. Union of India and Ors. ((2017) 9 SCC 1)

When the Triple Talaq case was heard in 2017, Justice Lalit was a member of the five-judge Constitution Bench. Ms. Shayara Bano argued against the custom of talaq-e-bidat, often known as triple talaq, which permits a Muslim man to divorce his wife by saying the word "talaq" three times. The Bench declared the practice to be unlawful and a violation of Article 14's right to equality.

Amardeep Singh vs. Harveen Kaur (AIR 2017 SC 4417)

Justice UU Lalit was one of two Supreme Court justices who ruled that the 6-month waiting period required by Section 13B (2) of the Hindu Marriage Act for divorce by mutual consent is not mandatory.

Attorney General for India v. Satish (2021 SCC OnLine SC 1076)

The Bombay High Court's finding that groping without "skin to skin" contact is not a sexual assault as defined by the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act was overturned by a bench chaired by Justice Lalit in 2021. The SC said, "The concept of POCSO includes ripping through clothing or bedding with the purpose of committing sexual acts. Courts shouldn't zealously look for ambiguity in plainly stated language. "The aim of the laws cannot be defeated by a finicky, technical interpretation.

One of the richest shrines in Kerala, the historic Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, was ruled to be under the management of the former royal family of Travancore by a court led by Justice Lalit, who also held that the rule of "heritability must get attached to a right of Shebait" (servitor) of the temple.

Justice Lalit’s Ideology

According to him, constitutional courts are those that have the ability to see the big picture, who can plan for the future, who don't just carry out executive orders or legislative directives, but who consider what precisely needs to be done in a given situation before giving advice to the executive and legislative branches.

While serving as chief justice of India, Lalit has three ideologies to be fulfilled, i.e., increasing openness in the Supreme Court's case listing, implementing a procedure that allows people to openly bring pressing issues before their benches, and lastly, maintaining a single Constitution Bench all year long.

Likewise, during his leadership, the Supreme Court issued pro-civil rights rulings, including granting bail to journalists Sidheeq Kappan and Teesta Setalvad. However, the chief justice, who is known as the "master of the roster," has the authority to determine when cases are listed and which bench of judges hears them. As such, his role in the unprecedented, urgent hearing of the appeal against the Bombay High Court's acquittal of UAPA accused G. N. Saibaba has been called into question.

Justice Lalit’s thoroughness with the matter, patience in clarifying legal problems, and somber demeanor in presenting the case before the bench are listed as his professional skills.

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit retired after eight years as a Supreme Court judge and 74 days of action-packed service as the Court's 49th Master of the Roster. He departs the revered halls of the Apex Court, having succeeded in his goal of trying to fine-tune the judicial apparatus and giving the legal community a much-needed boost of hope.


Q1. On whose recommendation was U. D. Lalit appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of India?

Ans. Former Chief Justice of India and head of the Supreme Court collegium justice Rajendra Mal Lodha had recommended his elevation to the Supreme Court as a judge. Subsequently, on August 13, 2014, he appointed as a judge of the apex court and became only the sixth lawyer to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court.

Q2. Who has appointed justice Lalit as the Chief Justice of India?

Ans. President Droupadi Murmu has appointed him as the Chief Justice of India on August 27, 2022.