CURRENT CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA
“Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana is an Indian judge who is serving as the 48th and current chief of justice”
Previously, he was a Judge of Supreme Court of India, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court and the acting Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court.He has also served as the president of the Andhra Pradesh Judicial Academy.
Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana was born on 27 August 1957, He was born in a Telugu-speaking family in Ponnavaram village in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh.
Journalism and litigation
From 1979 to 1980, Ramana was a journalist for the Eenadu newspaper. He enrolled as an advocate on February 10, 1983. He practiced in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, Central, and Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunals and the Supreme Court of India, handling civil, criminal, labor, service, and election matters. He also handled several constitutional matters, including federal river disputes in India. Ramana served as a counsel for several government organizations during this time, including an appointment as an additional standing counsel for the Central Government and a standing counsel for the Indian Railways in the Central Administrative Tribunal at Hyderabad. He has also functioned as the Additional Advocate General of the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Ramana became a permanent Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on 27 June 2000. On 2 September 2013, he was appointed the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, and on 17 February 2014, he became a judge in the Supreme Court of India. In March 2021, then Chief Justice SA Bobde of the Supreme Court recommended him as his successor to the post of Chief Justice of India. Ramana was appointed the 48th Chief Justice of India by the President of India on 6 April 2021, taking his oath of office, administered by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 24 April 2021. He is likely to be succeeded by Justice U.U. Lalit.
Allegations of corruption
In October 2020, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to the then Chief Justice of India, S. A. Bobde, alleging that Ramana and his relatives had engaged in corruption about the acquisition of land in the newly-established city of Amravati, and was attempting to destabilize the Andhra Pradesh Government by allegedly influencing hearings and decisions in the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Reddy asked the Chief Justice to investigate the matter and take appropriate action. The letter was widely reported and provoked both, support for an investigation as well as opposition from judges and lawyers’ bodies. The Delhi High Court Bar Association condemned the letter, and the All-India Lawyers’ Union called for an inquiry, with penalties to be imposed on Reddy if the allegations were found to be untrue. Following the release of the letter, Ramana spoke at an event to release a book by former Supreme Court judge R. Banumathi, stating that judges had become “soft targets for criticism” and “victims of juicy gossip and slanderous social media posts.”
Before this, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had, in September 2020, gagged the media from reporting on the registration of a case of corruption concerning land deals in Amravati against several persons, including Ramana’s daughters. The gag order was later lifted by the Supreme Court, after hearing the advocates on merits; meanwhile, a stay on the investigation continued until November 2020.
In November 2020, the Attorney General of India, K.K. Venugopal refused to grant permission for proceedings of contempt of court against Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy after he was requested to do so by BJP leader Aswini Kumar Upadhyay. He noted that while Reddy’s comments were “contumacious” and that the timing of his letter was “suspect” as the Andhra Pradesh High Court was currently hearing several cases concerning allegations of corruption against Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government, he would nevertheless, not be allowing a contempt case to proceed against Reddy at the Supreme Court for his statements about Ramana. The Attorney General also declined a second request to initiate contempt proceedings, stating that the Court was free to initiate proceedings by itself.
In November 2020, three petitions were filed at the Supreme Court of India against Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for the allegations made in his letter, calling for his removal as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in response to the allegations against Ramana. Supreme Court Judge U.U. Lalit recused himself from hearing these petitions. On 24 March 2021, the Supreme Court issued a statement indicating that according to an in-house procedure for investigating complaints, the allegations against Ramana were “meritless” and closed the investigation. The Court also stated that they would not be releasing their report on the allegations, as it was “…strictly confidential.”
The current 48th Chief justice of India Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana will retire on August 26th, 2022.
After the retirement of the 48th Chief justice of India Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana. Next chief justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit.
Uday Umesh Lalit.
Uday U Lalit was born to the family of U.R. Lalit, a former additional judge of the Bombay High Court Nagpur Bench and a senior counsel practicing at the Supreme Court of India. As of July 2014, the Supreme court collegium recommended him to be one of the judges of the Supreme Court of India.
Lalit joined the bar in June 1983 and started practicing in the Supreme Court of India in 1986. From 1986 to 1992, Lalit worked with former Attorney General for India, Soli Sorabjee.On 29 April 2004, Lalit was designated as a senior advocate of the Supreme Court. An August 2014 Press Trust of India news report stated that Lalit had a high reputation for his preparation, patience, and “sober demeanor” while arguing his cases. The same report said that Lalit appeared in several high-profile criminal cases and that his clients included politicians and film stars.
In 2011, a Supreme Court bench of Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly appointed Lalit as the special public prosecutor for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the 2G spectrum cases, stating that “in the interest of a fair prosecution of the case, the appointment of UU Lalit is eminently suitable”.
His professional strengths are described as ‘thoroughness with the case, patience in explaining legal questions, and the sober demeanor in presenting the case before the bench.’
On 10 January 2019, Justice Lalit recused himself from a five-judge bench constituted to hear the Ayodhya dispute case. His appearance for the erstwhile Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh in a ‘connected case’ was brought to the notice of the court by Rajeev Dhavan, and the court in its order noted the ‘disinclination’ of Justice Lalit to participate in the matter. He has also recused himself from multiple other high-profile cases.
Justice U.U.Lalit was part of the two-judge bench that upheld the Travancore Royal family’s right to administer the Sree Padmanabha Swami temple on 13 July 2020.
He is set to become the 49th Chief Justice of India on August 27th, 2022.
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