Justice HL Dattu to be next chief justice of India

Justice Lodha had sent recommendation for justice Dattu’s name last week to law ministry which was then forwarded to the PM

GN Bureau | September 3, 2014



Justice HL Dattu, who is heading the bench that is monitoring investigations into the 2G spectrum scam, is all set to become the next chief justice of India. Present CJI RM Lodha retires on the 27th of this month.

Justice Lodha had sent recommendation for justice Dattu’s name last week to the law ministry, which was then forwarded to the prime minister before he left for bilateral visit. It is learnt that the PM promptly signed it and sent to it to the president for his assent.

Justice Dattu is going to have a longer tenure till December next year as CJI justices P Sathasivam retired earlier this year and justice Lodha is due to retire later this month.

At a time when the country is debating the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill that replaces the collegium system of selection of judges, justice Dattu’s appointment had been initiated by the government, media reports suggest. The bill, which was passed by both houses of Parliament is set to become a law once it is approved by states. As per the propositions, the chief justice of India would be heading the NJAC. In addition to the CJI, the judiciary would be represented by two senior judges of the SC. Besides two “eminent personalities” and the law minister would be the other members of the proposed body.

Reportedly, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last month wrote to CJI Lodha and sought recommendation for justice Dattu’s appointment.

Justice Dattu, who has been a judge in supreme court since 2008 has earlier been the chief justice of Chhattisgarh high court and Kerala high court.

He started as a lawyer in 1975 and practiced in Bangalore before being elevated to a judge at the Karnataka HC in 1995. He dealt in all types of cases, ranging from civil, criminal, tax to constitutional matters.

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