Thursday, February 22, 2024

Chandrachud completes a year of landmark verdicts as CJI


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New Delhi, Nov 8: As a youngster, he loved playing a game of cricket in the backyard of his father Justice Y V Chandrachud’s official bungalow in Lutyens Delhi with his staff. As the Chief Justice of India, Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud batted for equal rights to gay couples wanting to enter into wedlock.
Known for speaking his mind, Chandrachud (63), who completed his first year in office on Wednesday, pronounced verdicts on seminal issues affecting public life and kicked off reforms that would enhance the efficiency of the justice delivery system in times to come. He has one more year to go as the CJI.
Under Chandrachud, who took over as the head of the Indian judiciary on November 9 last year, the apex court initiated several steps to enhance transparency and towards inclusion of LGBTQIA+ community within the top court.
Besides launching initiatives for technological, administrative and infrastructural improvement, Chandrachud, like his illustrious father Y V Chandrachud, who was the Chief Justice of India for the longest time from February 22, 1978 to July 11, 1985, kept delivering significant verdicts in the last one year.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by him ruled that the Delhi government has legislative and executive powers over administration of services except for public order, police and land, a judgement that didn’t go down well with the Centre which subsequently enacted a law to overturn the decision and grant pre-eminence to the city lieutenant governor in matters relating to services. He also wrote the unanimous verdict for a five-judge bench which held that the top court cannot reinstate the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra as he had resigned without facing a floor test.
The latest in a string of important verdicts pronounced by Chandrachud was the one on the right of queer couples for recognition of same-sex marriage.
Chandrachud, who was then heading the bench, refused to accord legal recognition to such union under the Special Marriage Act but made a strong pitch for their legal endorsement.
He also backed queer couples seeking adoption rights jointly.
However, Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul were in minority on the issue of grant of adoption rights to queer couples and recognition of their civil union. A statement shared by the apex court listed out the achievements and the initiatives taken by of the top court under the leadership of Chandrachud, the 50th CJI.
“Under the pioneering leadership of the CJI, the period has been exceptional as it led to the introduction of several path breaking initiatives that include adoption of cutting edge technology making court premises more accessible and inclusive,” it said.
The statement said in light of steps taken by the CJI, despite inheriting 69,647 cases on November 9, 2022 and the unusually heavy filing on more than 51,384 cases during the interregnum, the pendency as on October 20 this year was 70,754.
It said the year 2022-2023 was notable because of the plethora of achievements and new initiatives undertaken by Chandrachud, particularly in the field of information and communication technology to accomplish the valued goals of enhancing efficiency and access to justice. (PTI)


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