Justice DY Chandrachud will take oath as the 50th Chief Justice of India on November 9..He will have one of the longest tenures as CJI in the last ten years, holding office for two years till November 10, 2024. .Justice Chandrachud, whose father YV Chandrachud was India’s longest serving Chief Justice, was born on November 11, 1959.He graduated from Delhi's St Stephen's College in 1979 before completing his LL.B. from Delhi University in 1982 and LL.M. from Harvard University in 1983. He obtained the degree of Doctor of Juridicial Sciences (SJD) from Harvard in 1986.Justice Chandrachud served as an Additional Solicitor General for India from 1998 to 2000. He was designated a Senior Advocate by the Bombay High Court in 1998 and appeared in several important cases involving public interest litigation, rights of bonded women workers, rights of HIV positive workers in the work place, contract labour and the rights of religious and linguistic minorities..He was appointed as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000 and served there till his appointment as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court on October 31, 2013.His elevation to the Supreme Court took place on May 13, 2016. He has since authored a number of notable judgments including dissenting opinions against the ruling dispensation. He was the lone dissenting judge, on a nine-judge Constitution Bench, who held the Aadhaar Act to be unconstitutional for having been passed as a Money Bill.Under the Chairmanship of Justice Chandrachud, the Supreme Court E-Court Committee has been instrumental in creating infrastructure for live-streaming of court proceedings in India, especially at a time when hearings were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic..As the CJI, Justice Chandrachud will face numerous challenges ranging from the judicial appointment process, to addressing the pendency of cases, to improving the standards of justice delivery across the country, and his tenure will be closely scrutinised..Bar & Bench spoke to eminent members of the Bar from across the country to garner their thoughts about and expectations from CJI Chandrachud..Attorney General for India R Venkataramani .The Attorney General (AG) was categorical that the office of the CJI should not be perceived as a political office, since every CJI has the same challenges and duties. "I don’t think we should convert the office of Chief Justice of India into a political office. Every CJI has the same kind of duties and agenda," he said.He also opined that one key element which would govern the work of a CJI would be the time factor, since the length of the tenures vary drastically. For example, Justice UU Lalit had a tenure of only two months as CJI. "The subjective element of perception to do certain things depends upon the time available. So, we cannot measure one Chief with another Chief, because it is a time constraint factor," the AG stated..Nevertheless, the AG conceded that there is always a weight of expectations on the CJI's shoulders and every person would want the CJI to share their ideology. "Of course, when a judge comes to the Supreme Court, everybody’s eyes are on how this judge will add value to the Court. If I belong to a liberal group ideology or a left ideology or a right ideology, I want the CJI to belong to that ideology and we give it some very nice expression calling it constitutional morality, freedom and all that," the AG said..He also said that each CJI has his own convictions and thought process and puts them into practice."Every CJI being brought up in their own ways, thinking, understanding would like to bring some ideas into practice and then…. that’s nothing new, every judge, every CJI does it," the AG opined.Interestingly, he also touched upon the pressure that judges face in the age of social media. "Now of course, there is a lot of pressure on a judge because everybody can talk on social media, everybody can write something, everybody will like to write something about the court or the other that is good…".As regards reforms he wishes to see during CJI Chandrachud's tenure, the AG batted for structural changes so that the administration of justice becomes a cooperative endeavour between the Court and the government."There is a need for cooperation and understanding. Many structural changes are required. Special attention should be paid to children, women’s needs and the deprived section of the community. How do you change the system to make courts more comfortable? Structural changes in administration of justice to make it a cooperative endeavour between the court and the government and the civil society," he opined..Solicitor General for India Tushar Mehta.The Solicitor General said that having big expectations from Justice Chandrachud is quite natural, given the stature of the man."The Bar has lots of expectations from the 50th CJI ("DYC" as he is lovingly called), and understandably so. The expectations are firstly for the kind of a person DYC is, and secondly for the problems regarding late release of lists, long lists etc is. Big expectations from a great judge is obvious and natural," he said..Apart from the administrative reforms, SG Mehta called for a new system in which technology is better used to aid the Court's functioning."A robust and effective system for virtual hearings with bigger screens for judges for their convenience and better connectivity is the prime expectation from all Bar members across the nation," he said.To make this acceptable to everyone, both at the Bench and the Bar, will be a Herculean task for the new CJI, SG Mehta said, "Since the CJI is not just Chief of the Supreme Court ,but head of the entire judicial family of the nation, he may have to look at it from an all-India perspective and not from the prism of Delhi-based lawyers.".Pertinently, SG Mehta said that the new CJI will have the huge responsibility of preserving and protecting the Indian ethos, the Indian way of life and our cultural and social values while interpreting the Constitution. "Attempts of some sections to impose Western ideas which are unsuitable in Indian conditions and not in tune with our ethos, in the interpretation of our Constitution, will have to be firmly resisted by the highest court of the country under the 50th CJI," the Solicitor General opined..He also alleged that conscious attempts are being made by some vested interest groups, through social media and other means, to create a well-designed narrative intended to influence the process of judicial decision-making on sensitive issues of national importance."The 50th CJI is too seasoned a judge and too intelligent a human being that he will easily see through this. It will be a historical step if Indian judgments based on our own jurisprudence are cited and followed in other jurisdictions rather than Indian judgments being delivered based on judicial pronouncements of foreign jurisdictions...This will be a revolutionary legacy the 50th CJI can leave behind which will be remembered globally by generations to come," Mehta stated..Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi.Dr Singhvi showered praises on the new CJI for his temperament and scholarly and liberal outlook. "The more the talent, the better the temperament, the more would be the expectation from any incumbent CJI. The incoming new CJI scores very high on both talent and temperament, and hence expectations are bound to be high. He is scholarly, erudite, progressive and on several social issues, a liberal," Dr Singhvi said. While his expertise on law and judgment writing is there for all to see, the post of CJI will also test his leadership qualities, the veteran lawyer said."Judgment writing is an area which he has already shone in. But a CJI has to display additional leadership qualities - and I have said so publicly earlier - it would be best for him to start with at least a five-year plan or minimum three-year plan, for the future," Dr Singhvi opined.."For that he must bring on board the next five CJIs to create consistency, continuity, creativity and consensus in that 3 or 5-year plan. There are bound to be disagreements but a common minimum program must be developed, so that zig zags and volte-faces are minimized," he added..CJI Chandrachud must also make sure that these plans tackle the pendency of over 4 crore cases in Indian courts, Dr Singhvi said."Quick consensus on vacancies to be filled, exhortation to High Courts to fill-up trial court vacancies, activation of special night courts and fast track courts and to use of technology can make a large part of this 4 crore plus arrears collapse like a house of cards."Even a partial achievement of these two items will make it a memorable tenure for a highly-acclaimed jurist, he added. .Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan.Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan spoke highly of Justice Chandrachud's scholarly attributes, and the fact that he is in tune with the times and technology, and with international trends."What defines Justice Chandrachud is his enormous intellect and scholarship, apart from his deep and single-minded commitment to his career as a judge," she said..Two years is a substantial tenure that enables significant improvement, she added."I foresee strides in the judicial system in myriad ways -- A diverse and inclusive judiciary, more representative of India’s social and gender demography;- Access to justice to litigants enabled through technology;- Development of a pan-Indian Bar being able to access courts and tribunals across the country;- Improvements in court management system, where listing takes place on a realistic basis enabling more effective disposals; certainty in systems so that both the Bench and the Bar (and also litigants) can optimally utilise and plan their time;- Improvements in commercial courts to enable ease of doing business in India to plug uncertainties in the justice delivery system which can slow down or derail strides in the economy;- Development of a younger and more diverse Bar, where many more women are able to stay the course;- Strides in constitutional jurisprudence.."With the US Supreme Court in the constitutional backwaters, India's constitutional courts present an enormous opportunity for India and the world and we can be world class while being anchored to be deeply Indian," she opined..Senior Advocate Arvind Datar.The Senior Advocate suggested that under CJI Chandrachud's leadership,"This practice of having one Constitution Bench can continue. Nine-judge and five-judge benches can continue......I would say that in specialized matters like tax, criminal law etc., it is better to keep judges who have expertise in that branch.".Datar also hoped that concerns surrounding the appointment of judges would be addressed."The appointment of Justice Muralidhar did not come through. Appointments of people whose names were recommended like Justice Dipankar Dutta has not been implemented. This is a matter of concern.".Pallavi Shroff, Managing Partner of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas."I think Justice Chandrachud is very dynamic, with a 22nd century thinking. I think India is ready for such a dynamic Chief Justice. I think he will modernise the judiciary, a reform that is really necessary to keep up-to-date with the changes in society. Ultimately law approximates society.".Raian Karanjawala, Managing Partner of Karanjawala & Co.."The Supreme Court as Justice Chandrachud’s Court is likely to be known for the next two years as a court which will be modern in its approach. It is likely to be pro-women, pro-individual civil liberties and liberal on the new social issues of our times, like gay rights and same-sex marriage. I also expect that as a Chief Justice, he will do his utmost to marry advances in technology into court proceedings in order to make court functioning more efficient. We are likely to see a lot of paperless hearings and an increased use of the video-streaming system.".Karanjawala added,"He is also likely to ensure that the citizen is protected from undue and excessive governmental interference. The one potential worry can be that the Collegium system does not work as well as it should, due to a variance of views within the Collegium among the Judges. It ought to be his endeavour to ensure that any such differences are smoothened over and that the Collegium functions at its optimum best.".Senior Advocate P Wilson.Welcoming CJI Chandrachud, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament and Madras High Court Senior Advocate Wilson said,"I hope that the incoming Chief Justice, Justice DY Chandrachud will adhere to the goals of protecting social justice and the Constitutional principle of secularism that is under a great threat in the country. In fact, I have full faith and confidence that Justice Chandrachud will protect and adhere to these principles throughout his tenure as the CJI."."I also hope that he will give a serious thought to establishing regional benches of the Supreme Court in Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata and until that is done, to continue with the hybrid mode of hearings so that lawyers from across the country can appear in matters before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is not meant just for a certain class of people. It is not an elite club. Every citizen, including the poor and the downtrodden, must have equal access to the courts," he added.Wilson also suggested that CJI Chandrachud call upon Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju to create enough posts for judges. "Just 34 judges in the Supreme Court for 113 crore people. How disproportionate is this?".Senior Advocate NL Rajah.Veteran lawyer at the Madras High Court Rajah said,"First of all, the office of the Chief Justice of India demands a great amount of time and dedication. So, I wish Justice DY Chandrachud all the best.As far as my expectations are concerned, I hope that the next CJI will try to infuse more technology in court proceedings. For instance, the online or hybrid modes of hearings can be implemented uniformly in all courts to improve the citizens' access to justice, and to increase transparency."."Also, I hope the CJI will really sit with the government and iron out all the differences over the Collegium. I hope that with such discussion with the government, the judiciary will be able to strive free," he added..Rajah also touched upon the issue of judicial vacancies, saying,"The number of judges for a country of this size is inadequate. So, we must ensure that the appointment process for judges starts in time and we work at full strength. While expecting that the courts work at 100 per cent strength might be ambitious, the CJI should set as a goal that at any given time in any court, there must be less than a three to five per cent deficit of judges. That is a workable target.".Senior Advocate Rafique Dada."The appointment of Justice Chandrachud as the 50th Chief Justice of India brings back the memory of the day of his appointment as judge of the Bombay High Court. In my practice at the Bar, I have never seen a larger crowd of lawyers at an oath-taking ceremony as was when Justice Chandrachud was appointed. The response of the Bar was one of an overwhelming admiration. When he took his seat, he carried his popularity from the Bar to the Bench. Throughout his tenure as a judge, he has conducted himself with great courtesy and grace. A judge cannot be expected to pass a judgment making both sides happy; but no lawyer can ever complain that he has not got a good hearing from the court of Justice Chandrachud. I would expect CJI Chandrachud to help protect individual and personal freedoms. I am confident that he will maintain the balance between individual liberty and the need for State action. The Supreme Court of India has maintained the highest traditions of integrity and rectitude and I am confident that in his tenure, the great traditions will be maintained.".Senior Advocate Amit Desai."Justice Chandrachud has destiny on his side. He is in the unique position of being the 50th CJI in the 75th year of our freedom. Considering that this century is itself unique with the fastest ever changes in technology and society, the Supreme Court has challenges and opportunities similar to those that it had in its early years. I believe the single biggest challenge in our march towards being one of the biggest economies and powers in the world is the issue of backlog of cases and predictability of law. This can be achieved through use of technology and decisions by Constitution Benches. The next challenge is the balance between privacy rights and freedoms and societal needs: the use and misuse of social media and the ability to bring balance. I believe CJ designate Justice Chandrachud, with his understanding of the constitutional and social ethos of our country, has the intellectual heft to handle these issues with clarity and vision.".Senior Advocate Nitin Thakker, President of Bombay Bar Association."It is a matter of great pride for the Bombay Bar Association that one of its illustrious members is set to hold the esteemed position of Chief Justice of India. Heartiest congratulations to Justice Chandrachud. The need of the hour is filling of vacancies by appointment of judges to higher judiciary, particularly in Mumbai. We are sure that the new CJI will tackle that on an urgent basis. We are sure that judicial infrastructure all over the country will be improved under his captaincy. The Bombay High Court, being one of the oldest, needs an appropriate new abode, taking care of the needs of the Bar as well. Lastly, we are confident that he will bring his vision to reduce pendency of cases."