"I was enamoured by him, as luck would have it, I argued my first case in Supreme Court before him": Justice UU Lalit on Justice YV Chandrachud's 101st birth anniversary

  • Shruti Kakkar
  • 05:36 PM, 17 Jul 2021

Honourable Mr. Justice U.U. Lalit, Judge, Supreme Court of India started his address by reflecting back on his earlier days when he was still a student and he had attended a hearing in Supreme Court and Justice YV Chandrachud was holding Court.

I was enamoured by him. As luck would have it, I had my first case before him," he added.

Justice Lalit in his address said that as children, young students, youngsters they always used to listen to some of the great attributes of Justice YV Chadnrachud but never had the occasion to meet him.

In his speech, he also mentioned about the first time when he met Justice YV Chandrachud, the hero in person and Justice DY Chandrachud in a lecture series where Justice Lord Denning had to deliver a lecture in Nagpur organised by AIR.

I was really touched by the fact that Justice Chandrachud could find topics, issues on which he could initiate a chat with me and talk to me. I was still a young student in school then and that’s when I was touched by that,” said Justice UU Lalit.

Justice Lalit, in his address, said that Justice YV Chandrachud had one of the longest tenure in the Court of 13 years. 

An interesting point which Justice UU Lalit mentioned in his speech was that, “Justice YV Chandrachud was a part of 147 Constitution bench decisions.”

No Judge today even has the privilege to be associated with even 1/5th of that and very few people have that kind of opportunity. Justice YV Chandrachud made a completely fabulous use of those opportunities. Some of the  decisions which Justice Chandrachud has delivered are like landmarks,” he said.

To explain his greatness, he cited certain cases which were authored by Justice YV Chandrachud which became path breaking decisions and led the way for the Judiciary.

Justice UU Lalit cited "In re Special Court", to discuss the suggestion placed by late Senior Advocate Ram Jethmalani before the bench presided by Justice YV Chadnrachud and reply of Justice YV Chandrachud to the same.

“Justice YV Chandrachud was holding the Court in a manner which was very sober, very composed and yet at the same time completely in control and command of the situation,” said Justice UU Lalit.

He said that, “When Ram Jethmalani tabled a bill that special courts be constituted during Emergency - President of India sought opinion of SC on this. The suggestion which was given by Jethmalani was that judges who had retired could man the special courts.”

In his reply, Justice YV Chandrachud said, ''We have nothing against retired judges but as a principle, we would not like to have them man special courts. Because their term could be determined by the executive, which would be detrimental to our constitutional ethos," Justice UU Lalit added.

Justice Chandrachud's cases have become like LightHouses and they are showing us the path,” said Justice Lalit on Olga Tellis Case. 

He also added that ever since that judgement, it has been accepted all through every time and whenever the government displaces the slum dwellers, they are given some amount and place to live. 

Some of the observations by Justice YV Chandrachud are that the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principle of State Policies go hand in hand and must be understood cohesively,” said Justice UU Lalit on the Minerva Mills case.

Justice YV Chandrachud's observation on Sankalchand Sheth judgment on "Consultations" is very important. Because it laid the foundations for the cases which were to follow,” said Justice UU Lalit on Union Of India vs Sankal Chand Himatlal Sheth

Justice YV Chandrachud on Hindu Law in the Magdum case deals with aspects of "Notional Partition" which continues to this day,” said Justice Lalit on Gurupad Khandappa Magdum vs Hirabai Khandappa Magdum And Ors.

Even in muslim law, Justice YV Chandrachud had said that Section 125 (maintenance) under CRPC supersedes religious law in light of moral duty of a man to take care of his wife and children,” said Justice Lalit on Mohd Ahmad Khan v. Shah Bano Begum.

In his address, Justice UU Lalit reflected on Mithu v. State of Punjab, a judgment which was written by Justice YV Chandrachud which stipulated the discretion of the Court to check whether death sentence is warranted or not.

"The man had not just legal training but also tremendous insight into social problems, problems faced by downtrodden in society who are subject matters of Excesses," said Justice UU Lalit while concluding his address.

Also read‘THE IRON HANDS’: Remembering Justice Y. V. Chandrachud And His Unwillingness To Let Anything Slip Past Him

Watch the entire event here