The Government on Friday started the process for the appointment of a new Chief Justice of India (CJI) as Law Minister Kiren Rijiju was formally asked to nominate a replacement one month before his retirement.The Hon. Minister of Law and Justice today sent a letter to the Hon. Chief Justice of India requesting his recommendations for the appointment of his successor in accordance with the MoP (Memorandum of Procedure) on appointment of Chief Justice of India and Supreme Court Judges, the Ministry of Law and Justice tweeted.
On November 8, Justice Lalit, the 49th Chief Justice of India, is scheduled to retire. On November 9, 2022, the President will swear in his replacement.He is anticipated to suggest Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud, the senior-most Supreme Court justice, be named the 50th CJI. As Chief Justice of India, Justice Chandrachud will serve for two years. YV Chandrachud, his father, served as the 16th Chief Justice of India from 1978 until 1985.
It has been customary for the Chief Justice to suggest the senior-most Supreme Court justice as his replacement. Only twice did it not happen: on April 25, 1973, when Justice AN Ray replaced three senior-most judges as Chief Justice of India, and on January 29, 1977, when Justice MH Beg replaced Justice HR Khanna.According to tradition, CJI Lalit is not permitted to call Collegium meetings to discuss names for the appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges after recommending the name of his successor. Instead, the names will need to be brought up again once the Collegium has been reconstituted with the addition of a new member.
By breaking with tradition, CJI Lalit had earlier sent letters to other Collegium members requesting their written approval for the elevation of Chief Justices of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Ravi Shankar Jha, Patna High Court Sanjay Karol, Manipur High Court PV Sanjay Kumar, and Senior Advocate KV Viswanathan to the Supreme Court.However, it is said that two Collegium members opposed to it, stating that any decision regarding judicial appointments had to be made after careful consideration, which was impossible through the letter distributed by the CJI. As of the now, the Collegium’s selections of judges would essentially be put on hold for a month until Justice Lalit’s successor assumed the role of CJI.