News Karnataka
Sunday, October 02 2022

Mumbai: CM Eknath Shinde hails new CJI; Lalit clan proud of kin

congratulated new the Chief Justice of India,
Photo Credit : IANS

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday congratulated new the Chief Justice of India, Justice U.U. Lalit, who hails from this state.

“Maharashtra’s son, Justice Lalit’s tenure will increase the faith and glory of the Indian judiciary,” Shinde said in a message to the new CJI.

President Draupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Justice Lalit, who took over as the 49th CJI in Delhi on Saturday.

Hailing from the small Lalit clan of Maharashtra, Justice Lalit was born in Solapur and earned his law degree from the prestigious Government Law College in Mumbai, which is among the oldest in Asia, established in 1855.

Affiliated to the University Of Mumbai, the GLC – as it is popularly known – has produced some of the biggest legal brains in India, including the former principal of GLC, B.R. Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, former President Pratibha Patil, former Deputy PM L.K. Advani, besides other non-legal leading lights.

The prestigious law colleged has produced half-a-dozen CJIs — H.J. Kania, P.N. Bhagwati, M.H. Kania, S.P. Bharucha, S.H. Kapadia (and now Justice U.U. Lalit) — and one Chief Justice of Nepal, Surendra Prasad Singh, along with several judges of the Supreme Court and chief justices of high courts, Solicitor-Generals and Attorney-Generals, among others.

CJI Lalit’s father Umesh R. Lalit was also a well-known lawyer who was appointed a judge of the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench.

CJI Lalit’s grandfather Ranganath Lalit was a prominent lawyer in the British era, who had hosted civic receptions for two legal luminaries — Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

“We are extremely proud that one of our extended family members has taken over as the new CJI and we all wish him the very best in his new responsibility,” Satish Lalit, a former media advisor to the Maharashtra CM, told IANS.

He said that all Lalits hail from Girye village in Sindhudurg district, with the clan’s history dating back to nearly two centuries.

“Over the years, the Lalit family fanned out to various parts of the state and even to Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, and CJI Lalit’s family moved to Apta village near Roha in Raigad,” said Satish Lalit.

CJI Lalit started his legal practice in the Bombay High Court (1983-1985) before moving on to practice in the apex court in Delhi.

He also served as the chief of the National Legal Services Authority, and delivered several well-known and historical verdicts before his appointment to the challenging top post of the apex court.

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