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Criticism healthy sign in democracy but should be within bounds: CJI-designate Justice UU Lalit

Criticism healthy sign in democracy but should be within bounds: CJI-designate Justice UU Lalit

In an interview with India Today, the CJI-designate added, that the public has the right to see whether our judgments are up to the expectations of society or not.

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit Justice Uday Umesh Lalit

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, who has been recently appointed as the 49th Chief Justice of India (CJI), in a conversation with India Today said that criticism is a healthy sign in any democracy but should be within bounds.

Justice Lalit will succeed NV Ramana as the 49th CJI and assume charge on August 27. He will have a 74-day tenure as the head of India's judiciary and would demit office on November 8. Justice Lalit will also be the second CJI who was directly elevated to the apex court bench from the Bar.

Justice Lalit, in the interview, further stated that the public has the right to see whether our judgments are up to the expectations of society or not.

He said that if people feel a judge has gone wrong in taking a viewpoint, it must be criticised and debates must be encouraged. “Transparency has a limit, everything regarding appointments cannot be placed in public,” he added.

CJI designate, while talking about India’s collegium system, said, “These are not tussles, checks and balances that are in place.” He also stated that the Supreme Court 5-judge bench has decided that the collegium system is here to stay.

The collegium system in India, also called ‘Judges- selecting- Judges’, is the system in which the judges are appointed and transferred only by the judges.

The process of justice should be fast, quick and expeditious, said Justice Lalit, adding that the hallmark of any judicial system is that there should be clarity and consistency. Inconsistent views upset the entire wheel of the judiciary, he said.

While talking about the live streaming of the cases, he said that is being looked after by Justice Chandrachud and we’ll see how soon we can start it.

Justice Lalit has been part of several landmark judgements including the one which held the practice of divorce through instant triple talaq among Muslims illegal and unconstitutional.

UU Lalit, a renowned senior advocate, was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014. Before that, he practised in Delhi in January 1986, and in April 2004, he was designated as a senior advocate by the apex court.

He was also appointed a special public prosecutor for the CBI to conduct trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case. He has since been involved in the delivery of several landmark judgements of the apex court.