Justice DY Chandrachud will be appointed the 50th Chief Justice of India: Know His Contributions

The President of India on Monday in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, appointed Dr. Justice Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud, Judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India with effect from 09th November, 2022.

Early Life of DY Chandrachud

Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud graduated from Delhi University with an LLB. After being awarded the coveted Inlaks Scholarship, he continued his studies at Harvard University. He earned both his doctorate in juridical sciences (SJD) and his master’s degree in law at Harvard. 

Before being appointed a judge of the Bombay High Court, Chandrachud J worked as an advocate in the Supreme Court and the High Courts of Gujarat, Calcutta, Allahabad, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi. He argued before the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) Board, the Monopolies & Restricted Trade Practices (MRTP) Commission, the Company Law Board, and National and State Commissions. 

The Bombay High Court appointed him Senior Advocate in 1998. From 1998 to 2000, he held the position of Additional Solicitor General of India. As an advocate, Justice Chandrachud’s most important cases have included labour and industrial laws, HIV+ worker rights, constitutional and administrative law, and labour and administrative law.

He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000. On October 31, 2013, he was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.

Chandrachud J will take over as India’s 50th Chief Justice on November 9th, 2022, after J Lalit retires. He is the son of Justice YV Chandrachud, India’s 16th longest-serving Chief Justice.

Significant Judgements

  1. Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v/s Union of India

In a historic decision delivered on August 24th 2017, the Bench comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud unanimously recognised a fundamental right to privacy of every individual guaranteed by the Constitution, within Article 21 in particular and Part III on the whole. The decisions in M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh were overruled.

  1. Navtej Johar v/s Union of India

The Indian Supreme Court’s judgment in Navtej Singh Johar, delivered in September 2018, decriminalizing same-sex relations in India, generated a storm of discussion and debate, in both India and in the world beyond. Apart from its clear and sharp verdict that held that the Indian Constitution protected the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, the decision was also noteworthy because it reversed the Court’s own prior judgment, delivered a mere five years before (in 2013), that had upheld the constitutional validity of the law that penalized same-sex relations.

  1. Shafin Jahan v/s Ashokan K.M. 

Justice Chandrachud held that an adult’s right to make decisions in marriage or religion falls within her zone of privacy.

  1. Joseph Shine v/s Union of India

The Supreme Court bench comprising of DY Chandrachud struck down Section 497 of the IPC as unconstitutional, being violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 and held that Section 198(2) of the CrPC was unconstitutional to the extent that it was applicable to Section 497, IPC. This judgment overruled several previous judgments upholding the criminalization of adultery. 

  1.  Romila Thapar v/s Union of India

Regarding the arrest of 5 human rights activists for allegedly inciting violence at Bhima Koregaon and taking part in a criminal conspiracy against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chandrachud J. dissented in the case Romila Thapar v. Union of India. The question, according to him, was whether the arrests went against the accused’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression and individual autonomy, which are protected by Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution. He recommended that a Special Investigation Team look into the activists’ arrest.

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