New Delhi: Chief Justice of India-designate Justice UU Lalit on Friday stressed three areas on which he intends to work during his 74-day tenure as the head of the judiciary and said that he would strive to ensure that at least one constitution bench is functioning in the Supreme Court throughout the year.
Justice Lalit, who will become the 49th Chief Justice of India on Saturday, said that the other two areas he would focus on will be listing cases for hearing in the top court and mentioning urgent matters.
Speaking at an event organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to bid farewell to outgoing CJI NV Ramana, Justice Lalit said he has always believed that the role of the apex court is to lay down law with clarity and the best way to do it is to have larger benches as early as possible.
“So, we will strive hard to say that yes, we will always have at least one constitution bench functioning all throughout the year,” he said.
He further said that one of the areas in which he plans to work is about the listing of cases before the constitution benches and matters which are specially referred to three-judge benches.
On this issue, he said, “….I must assure you that we will strive hard to make the listing as simple, as clear, and as transparent as possible”.
Speaking about mentioning urgent matters, Justice Lalit said he would look into it.
“I will have a word with all my learned colleagues on the bench and we will certainly sort that out and very shortly, you will have a clear-cut regime where any urgent matter can freely be mentioned before the respective courts,” he said.
“I have always believed that the role of the Supreme Court is to lay down law with clarity, consistency, and the best possible way to do it is to have larger benches as early as possible, wherever the matters are referred to such benches so that the issues get clarified immediately, the matter has consistency and the people are well aware of what exactly are the contours of the peculiar positions in law,” the CJI-designate added.
Notably, Justice Lalit will have a brief tenure of less than three months as the CJI as he would retire on November 8 this year. The retirement age of judges of the Supreme Court is 65.