Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu on Sunday was sworn in as the 42nd Chief Justice of India by President of India Pranab Mukherjee.
Going by the tradition, Justice Dattu took oath in the name of the almighty at the Durbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. A small ceremony was arrange to celebrate this proud moment for the 63 year old new CJI of India.
According to reports, the ceremony was attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, veteran BJP leader L K Advani and a few other union ministers. The opposition was represented by Indian National Congress leaders Rajeev Shukla and Abhishek Manu Singh. The judiciary was represented by senior judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court, retired judges, Bar members as well as Justice R M Lodha who retired as the CJI on Saturday.
Justice Dattu will continue as the CJI of India till December 2, 2015 – a tenure of total one year and two months.
“I will request for blessing of all citizens of this country to give me courage and confidence to take this institution of mine to the highest stride,” he had said earlier in September when his appointment was virtually confirmed. “Mine is the best institution in the world,” he added.
He happens to be the second Supreme Court judge to have been appointed as the CJI; the first was his immediate predecessor Justice Lodha. Justice Dattu, however, declined to make any comment on the controversy surrounding the removal of the collegiums system of appointing judges.
The prominent legal professional began his career as a lawyer in Bangalore and handled all types of cases pertaining to civil, criminal, tax and constitutional matters. From 1983 onwards, he began playing different roles including as a government pleader for Sales Tax department, standing counsel for Income Tax department, and also as a government advocate. Following his appointment as a senior standing counsel for I-T department in 1995, Justice Dattu was made a judge of the Karnataka High Court.