Meet new CJI Chandrachud, who bats for progressive, liberal values
Justice DY Chandrachud was sworn in as India's 50th Chief Justice on Wednesday. President Droupadi Murmu delivered the oath to him at Rashtrapati Bhavan. After being sworn in, Justice Chandrachud made his first media appearances, declaring his goal to be "serving the ordinary citizen" and promising improvements to the registry and judicial systems. Here's more about his life and career.
Early life and education
Justice Chandrachud was born on November 11, 1959, in Mumbai to YV Chandrachud, India's 16th Chief Justice, and Prabha Chandrachud, an All India Radio (AIR) singer, according to Bar & Bench. He earned a Bachelor of Law degree from Delhi University's Faculty of Law after graduating from St. Stephens College in 1979 with a degree in economics and mathematics.
His stint at Harvard University
According to Supreme Court Observer, Chandrachud joined Harvard University in 1983 for an LLM degree under the 'Inlaks' scholarship. He also received the Joseph H. Beale prize for securing the highest marks in the Conflict of Laws course. At Harvard, he also completed his Doctorate in Juridical Sciences. On completing his studies, he enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Maharashtra.
Beginning of his legal career
From 1998 until 2000, Justice Chandrachud served as India's Additional Solicitor General. On March 29, 2000, he was appointed as an extra judge of the Bombay High Court, where he remained till his appointment as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court on October 31, 2013. On May 13, 2016, he was appointed to the Supreme Court.
Significant works that made him popular
As per Bar & Bench, he represented clients in a number of significant instances involving public interest litigations pertaining to the rights of bonded women employees, rights of HIV-positive workers at work, contract labor, and the rights of religious and linguistic minorities. As a judge, he wrote many crucial judgments, including dissenting views that were against the prevailing dispensation, which helped him earn notoriety.
Known as a lone dissenting judge
As per reports, he was the only judge to disagree with the Aadhaar Act, terming it invalid. The Supreme Court E-Court Committee, which is led by Justice Chandrachud, has been crucial in developing the infrastructure for live-streaming court proceedings in India, particularly during the COVID-19 epidemic. His ruling around the COVID-19 vaccine prompted the Centre to make the vaccine free for all.
Some of his crucial rulings
Chandrachud is known for his liberal and progressive rulings, the most recent of which upheld unmarried women's abortion rights last month. He also served on the SC's constitution benches that decriminalized consensual homosexuality, recognized privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21, and decriminalized adultery. He was also part of the top court bench that delivered the verdict on the Ayodhya Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid case.