HomeNATIONJustice DY Chandrachud: For Some, a Liberal, Progressive Judge, For Many, a Glimmer...

Justice DY Chandrachud: For Some, a Liberal, Progressive Judge, For Many, a Glimmer of Hope, The 50th Chief Justice of India

Justice DY Chandrachud: The 50th Chief Justice of India is scheduled to take oath as the 50th Chief Justice of India (CJI) on Wednesday, after serving as a judge in the highest court in the nation for more than six years.

It will also mark a significant turning point in the nation’s judicial history because Justice Chandrachud and his father, previous CJI YV Chandrachud, will now be the only father-son duo to hold the office of CJI.
It would be an understatement to say that Justice Chandrachud’s appointment as Chief Justice of India has widely awaited. It’s no secret that a sizable portion of the people has been waiting for Justice Chandrachud to occupy the seat of the highest judicial officer of the nation, despite the fact that he has received praise and criticism throughout his time at the Supreme Court (SC).

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“The liberals’ favourite and a progressive jurist”

Over the years, Justice Chandrachud has been referred to as a judge who always speaks his opinion by some and as “the liberals’ favourite and a progressive jurist” by others. He will be in charge of the Supreme Court’s operations during significant events in the future.

The nation now has its 50th Chief Justice of India, a man with the bravery of his convictions and a fierce dedication to the supremacy of citizens’ fundamental rights, a quality that has been evident in his rulings.
Through his rulings, Justice Chandrachud has made observations on important issues such as fundamental rights, privacy, gender sensitization, and the rights of women and LGBTQ+ people, among others. He has done so with a number of dissenting opinions, well-written judgments, and inspiring and sympathetic observations.

Unafraid voice

Along with being admired for his remarkable jurisprudential knowledge and intellectual prowess, he is also distinguished by his ongoing efforts to advance and affirm women’s rights.

In and out of the courtroom, he has received praise for speaking up fearlessly against patriarchal ideas and advocating for women’s empowerment.

In fact, he recently advised law grads to apply feminist thinking while dealing with the law while he was speaking at an event.

With his composed demeanour throughout court proceedings, he has also won the admiration of the legal community. Young attorneys frequently thank him for giving them an opportunity and inspiring them to present their case in court.

Younger generation’s favourite

The younger generation and millennials are also fond of Justice Chandrachud. The younger generation prioritises respecting choices, consent, and opinions in the modern world. They also challenge stereotypes, dismantle backward ideas, and adopt a progressive mindset. And the majority of these topics have been covered in Justice Chandrachud’s rulings over the years.

Remarkable Judgements

Here is a quick rundown of some of his most important rulings on the day that India welcomes its 50th Chief Justice.

Right to Privacy

The Supreme Court’s nine-judge panel unanimously ruled in August 2017 that the right to privacy is a basic freedom. The fundamental conclusion of the opinion written by Justice Chandrachud on behalf of himself and three other judges is that since privacy is a crucial component of human dignity, it attaches to the person. He overturned his father, former CJI YV Chandrachud’s decision in the well-known ADM Jabalpur case by this judgement.

Article 377

Justice Chandrachud was a member of the Supreme Court’s constitution bench, which overturned portions of section 377 to decriminalise same-sex consensual sex. In his concurring opinion, Justice Chandrachud had stated that 138 years was an excessively long time for the LGBT community to endure the humiliations of denial.

In reality, Justice Chandrachud’s bench fought for inclusivity in the most recent abortion law ruling by asserting that the ruling would apply to everyone who might need access to a safe medical abortion.

Aadhaar Act

The Aadhaar Act was maintained by the majority constitution bench in 2018, however Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had also dissented, arguing that in a digital society, a person has the right to safeguard herself by preserving control over personal information.

Sabarimala Judgement

Justice Chandrachud was a member of the Sabarimala verdict’s bench, which ruled that it was unlawful to prevent menstruation women from entering the site.

Bhima Koregaon

Justice Chandrachud dissented from the majority opinion and expressed his strong views on the value of dissent in a democracy in the case involving the arrest of 5 activists at Bhima Koregaon, where the Supreme Court declined to intervene.

Aadhaar Act

The Aadhaar Act was maintained by the majority constitution bench in 2018, however Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had also dissented, arguing that in a digital society, a person has the right to safeguard herself by preserving control over personal information.

He had stated that opposing viewpoints cannot be silenced by prosecuting those who champion unpopular causes since dissent is a sign of a healthy democracy.

Permanent Commission

A bench led by Justice Chandrachud ruled that the complete exclusion of women from command positions was unreasonable and in violation of the Constitution in yet another significant decision that mandated the creation of a Permanent Commission for women in the army.

Going even further, Justice Chandrachud addressed gender role preconceptions in his ruling, stating that mentality shifts are necessary to achieve true equality in the Army.

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Repealing Section 497 of the IPC

Justice Chandrachud emphasised the need to make sure that patriarchal societal beliefs and legal norms are not allowed to further block the enjoyment of constitutional rights by women in our society in the SC’s ruling decriminalising adultery and repealing Section 497 of the IPC.

He had referred to section 497 as destructive because it robs a woman of her agency, autonomy, and dignity. He had also added that patriarchal ideas of sexual domination and misogyny had no place in a legal system that recognises a person’s inherent dignity.

A bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud issued a significant ruling regarding women’s right to reproductive and bodily autonomy, holding that all women, married or not, are entitled to safe and legal abortion. The ruling also stated that the law shouldn’t determine the beneficiaries of a statute based on constrictive, patriarchal stereotypes of what constitutes permissible sex.

Denounced Two Finger Test

The two-finger test in rape cases was recently condemned by Justice Chandrachud’s bench, who said it is patriarchal and sexist to imply that a woman cannot be believed when she claims that she was raped just because she is sexually active.

The two-finger test, according to the court, should not be used because it is based on the false notion that a sexually active woman cannot be raped and lacks any scientific support.

With Justice Chandrachud’s swearing-in ceremony on November 9, he will succeed UU Lalit, the 49th Chief Justice of India, who resigned on November 8 after a brief 74-day term.

Justice Chandrachud stated that he had “quite big-sized shoes to fill” with Justice Lalit as his successor on Justice Lalit’s final day of work as the CJI. With Justice UU Lalit as his successor, Justice Chandrachud also gave him the assurance that the reforms he had enacted would feel consistent. He also acknowledged that he had huge shoes to fill.

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