Justice R.M. Lodha to be next Chief Justice of India

>> Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha has been appointed as the next Chief Justice of India and he will assume his charge on April 27.

>> “In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha, Judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India with effect from April 27, 2014,” a Law Ministry statement said.

>> Justice Lodha (64) is the senior-most judge of the apex court after CJI P. Sathasivam. He will have a brief tenure of five months as the Chief Justice as he is scheduled to retire on September 27, this year.

>> Justice Lodha’s name was recommended as the next CJI by Justice Sathasivam.

>> As per the Memorandum of Procedure which governs the appointment of members of the higher judiciary, appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of India should be of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office. It stipulates that the Law Minister would, at the appropriate time, seek the recommendation of the outgoing Chief Justice of India for the appointment of the next CJI. Under this process, after receipt of the recommendation of the CJI, the Law Minister puts it up to the Prime Minister who advises the President in the matter of appointment.

>> Born in Jodhpur, Justice Lodha enrolled with Bar Council of Rajasthan in February 1973. He practiced Law in the Rajasthan High Court and dealt with all branches of law — constitutional, civil, company, criminal, taxation and labour. He was elevated as a Permanent Judge of the Rajasthan High Court in January 1994. He was transferred to the Bombay High Court where he assumed office in February 1994. Justice Lodha was transferred back to the Rajasthan High Court in February 2007. He had been the Administrative Judge of the Rajasthan High Court and was chairman of State Judicial Academy.

>> He was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Patna High Court on May 13, 2008 and elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on December 17, 2008.


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