New Delhi: Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud has taken over as the country’s 50th chief justice. He has played an important role in digitising the judiciary and been part of benches that delivered landmark verdicts on issues such as the Ayodhya land dispute, Section 377 and right to privacy. He follows in the footsteps of his father and former chief justice of India, the late YV Chandrachud. He was at the helm of the judiciary from February 22, 1978 to July 11, 1985 and remained the longest-serving CJI. This is the first instance of a father and son occupying the highest seat of justice.
CJI Chandrachud, often referred to as DYC in legal circles, was sworn in by President Droupadi Murmu. He took over from Uday Umesh Lalit who recommended him as his successor to the Centre on October 11. Unlike his predecessor who served for 74 days, the country’s new CJI will be in office for two years till November 10, 2024. Born on November 11, 1959, CJI Chandrachud studied in St Stephen’s College and the Campus Law Centre before going to Harvard. He was elevated to the top court on May 13, 2016.
During the covid-19 pandemic, a bench headed by Justice Chandrachud passed several directions to address the miseries faced by people. The bench directed the Centre to supply oxygen to hospitals across the nation.
In February 2020, a bench headed by Justice Chandrachud directed that women officers in the Army be granted permanent commission and command postings, rejecting Centre’s stand on physiological limitations as being based on “sex stereotypes” and “gender discrimination against women.”
Justice Chandrachud was part of a five-judge bench Constitution bench that on November 19, 2019 cleared the way for construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.
Justice Chandrachud completed BA honours in economics from St Stephen’s College and did LLB from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University and obtained LLM degree and a doctorate in judirical sciences (SJD) from Harvard Law School, USA.