Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana is all set to initiate the process of recommending his successor after his office on Wednesday, August 3, received an official communication from the Ministry of Law and Justice about it. CJI Ramana, who had taken over as head of the Indian judiciary from predecessor SA Bobde on April 24, 2021 as the 48th CJI, is scheduled to demit office on August 26 after a tenure of over 16 months.Putting an end to speculative media reports that official communication had been sent from the office of Law Minister Kiren Rijiju a few days back, an apex court official said the letter was received at the CJI’s office on Wednesday. “Today (03.08.2022) at 21.30 hrs, the Secretariat of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India has received a communication dated August 03, 2022 from Hon’ble Minister of Law and Justice requesting Hon’ble CJI to recommend the name of his successor”, a statement from the CJI’s office said.As per convention, the CJI recommends the name of the senior-most judge as the successor. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit is next in seniority to CJI Ramana. As per the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), which governs the process of appointment of judges in higher judiciary, the outgoing CJI initiates the process of naming the successor after getting a communication from the Law Ministry.The MoP says the senior-most judge of the apex court is considered fit to hold the office of the CJI and the views of the outgoing head of the judiciary has to be sought ‘at the appropriate time’. The MoP, however, does not specify the time limit for the initiation of the process of recommending the name of the successor CJI.Justice Lalit, born on November 9, 1957, was enrolled as an advocate in June 1983 and practised in the Bombay High Court till December, 1985. He later shifted base to Delhi. Lalit was designated as a senior lawyer by the Supreme Court in April, 2004.Before being recommended to be appointed as a Supreme Court judge from the Bar, Lalit conducted the trial in 2G matters as the Special Public Prosecutor for the CBI. He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014 and will have a tenure of less than three months as the CJI before retiring on November 8 this year.

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