Senior-most Supreme Court judge and CJI-designate Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud is all set to become the 50th head of the Indian judiciary on Wednesday when President Draupadi Murmu would administer the oath of office to him at Rashtrapati Bhawan here.
His illustrious father Y V Chandrachud was the longest-serving Chief Justice of India (CJI) and remained at the helm from February 22, 1978 to July 11, 1985. Justice Chandrachud will serve as the CJI for two years till November 10, 2024. Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65.
He succeeds Uday Umesh Lalit, who had recommended him as his successor to the Centre on October 11. President Draupadi Murmu had appointed him as the next CJI on October 17. Justice Chandrachud, born on November 11, 1959, was elevated to the top court on May 13, 2016.
He has been part of several Constitution benches and landmark verdicts of the top court including on matters relating to the Ayodhya land dispute, the right to privacy and adultery.
Justice Chandrachud was also part of the benches which delivered path-breaking judgements on decriminalising same-sex relations after it partially struck down Section 377 of the IPC, the validity of the Aadhaar scheme and the Sabarimala issue.
Recently, a bench headed by him expanded the scope of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy(MTP) Act and the corresponding rules to include unmarried women for abortion between 20-24 weeks of pregnancy.
The Justice Chandrachud-led bench had also passed several directions to assuage the miseries faced by people during the COVID-19 crisis, terming the brutal second wave of the pandemic last year as a “national crisis”.
Recently, he was among the two judges of the apex court Collegium which had objected to the method of “circulation” adopted for eliciting the views of its members on the appointment of judges to the top court. He was a judge of the Bombay High Court from March 29, 2000 until his appointment as the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court on October 31, 2013.
Justice Chandrachud was designated as a senior advocate by the Bombay High Court in June 1998 and became Additional Solicitor General in the same year till his appointment as a judge.
After completing his BA with Honours in Economics from St Stephen’s College, New Delhi, Justice Chandrachud did his LLB from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University, and obtained an LLM degree and a Doctorate in Juridical Sciences (SJD) from Harvard Law School, USA.
He practised law at the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court and was a visiting professor of comparative Constitutional law at the University of Mumbai