NEW DELHI: Senior advocate Uday U Lalit has been recommended by the Supreme Court collegium to be a judge on its bench.
The collegium is learnt to have sent the file with Lalit’s name to the Law Ministry for his elevation to the Supreme Court along with the names of three Chief Justices of High Courts, including one woman judge.
These include Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court Prafull Chandra Pant, Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court Abhay Manohar Sapre and Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court R. Banumathi.
Lalit’s name has been recommended after another senior advocate Gopal Subramanium had opted out of being considered for the post following a controversy after the new government sent back his name for reconsideration. Chief Justice of India R M Lodha has openly criticised the present government over its decision to reject Gopal Subramaniums candidature as Supreme Court judge and said, “The independence of judiciary will not be compromised.”
As reported earlier by the Express, Lalit had given his consent to the Supreme Court collegium for the elevation. If the government accepts the recommendation of the collegium, then Lalit, an astute lawyer who has appearing as the special prosecutor in the 2G scam trial, would be the second person after R F Nariman, former Solicitor General, to become an apex court judge from the bar in nearly last 15 years.
He will have around seven years as judge at the SC.
He had also appeared in several high-profile cases involving actor Salman Khan in the black buck poaching incident, for former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in a corruption case and former Gujarat Minister Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case and for the then Army Chief V K Singh in the case relating to his date of birth. Earlier, Justice N Santosh Hegde was directly made the apex court judge from the Bar in 1999.
Since 1950, besides Hegde, S M Sikri, who went on to become CJI in 1973, S C Roy and Kuldip Singh were directly made SC judges from the Bar.
Lalit, who hails from Maharashtra, joined the Bar in June 1983 and has been practising in the apex court since 1986. He worked with the former Attorney-General, Soli J Sorabjee, from 1986 to 1992.