Sunday Profile: DYC norms by Justice Chandrachud

On the 16th of October, 2019, the then Chief Justice India Ranjan Gogoi was able to read that the court had pronounced a unanimous verdict in the Ayodhya case One factor that generated much interest was the decision of the Structure Bench of 5 judges in the Supreme Courtroom was its authorship. A departure from convention, the verdict didn’t bear the name of the person who wrote it. As thriller sleuths put their heads together, crucial clues were revealed in the form of language and structure of the 929-page document divided into chapters bearing the hallmark of D Chandrachud. Nearly all his decisions were spotted, whether it was Aadhaar which is a reference to privacy, or Sabarimala incorporated that model.

Justice Chandrachud’s rulings, whether they are dissenting or concurring in them, has sparked similar interest — from his dissent in the Aadhaar case, where he said that an individual’s identity isn’t a countable number and of identities cannot be reduced to a 12-digit number and the tense in the Bhima Koregaon trial, in which it was his turn to be than one of the few voices to voice dissent in the case, stating that “dissent is the symbol of an active democracy” in that of the Hadiya case, where the judge ruled that the individual’s right to choose a faith and to marry was integral part of her life. If the Aadhaar and the right to privacy and Bhima Koregaon case led to the judge being recognized as a progressive and liberal voice in the courtroom of the Supreme Court however, his position within the Ayodhya case, as well as the Arnab Goswami cases, saw that he was lauded in the opposite direction.

With Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud slated to become the fifty-fifth Chief Justice of India This means that he won’t be placed into an ideological bracket and to keep his supporters and critics in the dark — which could make his two-year period among the most closely observed stints of any high decision maker in the Supreme Courtroom.

An alumnus of the Delhi’s College St. Stephen’s School as well as College of Legislation, and later Harvard College, the place Chandrachud completed the LL.M in 1983. He was followed by a doctorate in legal sciences in 1986. Chandrachud was an advocate in the Bombay Excessive Courtroom and Supreme Courtroom. Additionally, he was the Additional Legal Solicitor of India between 1998 and 2000, and was appointed an extra judge for the Bombay Excessive Courtroom on March 29th 2000. After being a Bombay HC decide for over 13 years, he was promoted to Supreme Court Justice for the Allahabad Excessive Courtroom on October 31, 2013. He later appointed a decision for the Supreme Courtroom on 13 May in 2016.

The Chandrachuds came from Pune His grandfather Vishnu B Chandrachud was his diwan in the state of princely Sawantwadi (in the current Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra) — and later moved to Bombay.

As a young boy growing into Bombay, Chandrachud was surrounded by music. Although his late father CJI YV Chandrachud was a highly trained classical musician. His mom was a singer in the background for All India Radio. Chandrachud was said to be a fervent admirer of his mother’s music teacher, the renowned Kishori Amonkar who was a regular client of their home. Sources in the family say that an autograph Chandrachud’s younger brother wanted from Amonkar discovers: “Music musically results in silence” — a statement that is believed to have been a lasting influence on Chandrachud.

At the age 12 years old, Chandrachud emigrated to Delhi to marry his father, who was appointed the 13th Chief Justice of India. The move from Tughlaq Highway Tughlaq Highway bungalow meant the boy had new friends and among them was Ok M Joseph, who was just a few feet far from Chandrachuds. The friend with whom he played cricket and soccer, the son of the then Supreme Courtroom Judge Justice Ok Ok Mathew, is now Justice Joseph, a part of the SC’s highest decision-making body, called the collegium. Along with Chandrachud.

Chandrachud was quick to return to Mumbai which was the city which was the place where he began his legal and judicial career. Justice Chandrachud has previously spoken about his experience in the Bombay Excessive Courtroom as being not just his father’s or mother’s courtroom and as the site of some of his “most beloved moments”. His peers in his Excessive Courtroom share many of these memories -including the ‘Senior Advocate Chandrachud who would show into court with his signature untrained Ambassador car as well as the ‘Justice Chandrachud who’s decisions that were written in crisp prose, attracted attention and applause.

This close ties with the courtroom prompted Justice Chandrachud to co-edit A Heritage of Judging the Bombay Excessive Courtroom For One Hundred and Fifty Years, a e-book released through Maharashtra Judicial Academy in August 2012. Maharashtra Judicial Academy in August 2012.

As a judge of the Bombay Excessive Courtroom, Justice Chandrachud is known to have never lost his cool as the judge dealt with some of the toughest situations.

When discussing the Justice’s “dedication” one of the numerous legal professionals who have worked with him, said the decision was made in the courtroom just a few days after the passing of an extremely important family member. “Furthermore, he engaged with juniors in how he interacts with the top legal professionals. You won’t find any junior lawyer who would tell you that Justice Chandrachud shouted at him or her,” the lawyer mentioned.

A senior lawyer who has practiced in the Bombay Excessive Courtroom for over 4 years stated, “He informed us that people who truly require excellent listening to you could attend a daily hearing at 9am (two hours ahead of courtroom operating hours). He commenced the hearing in a matter of organization regulation by having the seven-day early-morning hearings. His dedication to his career was unmatched. No judgment was saved for an extremely long period of time.”

In a speech at the 2019 Ok T Desai Memorial Lecture held through the Bombay Bar Affiliation, one of the longest-running associations of lawyers practicing in the Bombay Excessive Courtroom, senior advocate Milind Sathe spoke of Justice Chandrachud as being one of the most prolific writers of judgements. Sathe narrated his experience of proving an issue related to the Surroundings of the influence Evaluation in an influence project, Sathe mentioned, “We did not get the issue right in the Bombay excessive Courtroom and then it was transferred into the Supreme Courtroom. The case was brought up prior to Justice Aftab Alam. A few days after the arguments were considered, Justice Aftab Alam mentioned, “We’re not going to have the guts to interfere with this kind of poetically written judgment regarding environmental issues. Thus it was decided that the Particular Depart Petition (SLP) was dismissed.”

The Chandrachud was described as being an “erudite scholar”, and an “ambidextrous particular” Sathe went on to add, “Throughout his years within the Bombay HC, after we debated the case before Chandrachud, he would write his notes… Then when he wrote the verdict in the open court, it could appear to be that we’ve presented the case in an efficient manner. But, in reality, is due to his expertise and not our arguments.” Sathe mentioned.

In the present, the question is, and with Justice Chandrachud set to take the helm as CJI on the 9th of November when the federal government is able to approve his name, what “erudition” exhibits in the apex courtroom, as well as its treatment of the relationship between government and collegium -his two-year mandate is expected to see fourteen judges retire from the highest courtroom which will be watched closely. In the courtroom, awaiting examination are a myriad of constitutional issues including the issue of the freebies offered by political events to the issue of the Locations of Worship Act, 1991, and WhatsApp’s privacy coverage to opinions regarding the Sabarimala and hijab contexts.

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