Swearing-in of Justice DY Chandrachud as CJI - A defining moment in Supreme Court’s history

Swearing-in of Justice DY Chandrachud as CJI - A defining moment in Supreme Court’s history

He is in some ways like the late Justice VR Krishna Iyer who would liberally use his interpretive skills to find ways to provide justice to the indigent.

EditorialUpdated: Friday, November 11, 2022, 01:01 AM IST
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Swearing-in of Justice DY Chandrachud as CJI - A defining moment in Supreme Court’s history | PTI

The swearing-in of Justice Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud as the 50th Chief Justice of India (CJI) is a defining moment in the Supreme Court’s history. Unlike many of his immediate predecessors, he will have a tenure of two years which, of course, is not even a third of the tenure his father YV Chandrachud had as the CJI.

To list all the Constitution benches of which he was a member and which gave landmark judgments would be hazardous when wordage is limited. However, what needs to be mentioned is his core belief in constitutional values which he underscored by either writing the main verdict or the dissenting judgment. That is why Justice Chandrachud is considered alone in the crowd of judges. He is in some ways like the late Justice VR Krishna Iyer who would liberally use his interpretive skills to find ways to provide justice to the indigent.

His first verdict as CJI, when he rejected outright an appeal from the Tamil Nadu Government against a retired school employee, who obtained a financial settlement from the High Court, was a pointer to his thought process. He has been a votary of paperless justice as he prefers to see all court documents on his laptop. As CJI, he would be able to declare the apex court truly paperless. He was one of the few who favoured online hearing of cases when the country was under Covid-induced lockdown. For the millions of people who look up to the Supreme Court as the last word in judicial interpretation, he is verily a lodestar.

Of late, there have been trends that suggest even the apex court is wary of taking an independent stand on issues of personal liberty. It is in this context that DY Chandrachud's assumption of office assumes significance.

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