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Justice Dattu set to be next CJI

Government has initiated the process of appointing Justice H L Dattu as the next Chief Justice of India after the present incumbent R M Lodha retires on September 27.

The Law Ministry is learnt to have cleared the file of Justice Dattu’s appointment and sent it to the Prime Minister’s Office. His Warrant of Appointment will be issued shortly after the President clears it, sources said.

As per the laid down procedure, Justice Lodha had recently written to the Law Minister nominating Justice Dattu, the senior-most Supreme Court judge after him, as the next CJI.

Justice Dattu (63) has been heading the bench monitoring investigations into the 2G spectrum scam.

He will have a tenure of little over one year before he retires on December 2, 2015.

He joined the Supreme Court as a judge in December 2008. Born on December 13, 1950, he enrolled as an advocate in 1975 and began practising in Bangalore and dealt with all types of matters — civil, criminal, tax and Constitutional cases.

From 1983 onwards he appeared in various capacities before the Karnataka High Court including as government pleader for sales tax department, standing counsel for Income Tax department and later as government advocate. After being designated as a senior standing counsel for I-T department in 1995, Justice Dattu was elevated as a judge of the Karnataka High Court.

He was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court in February 2007 and shortly afterwards shifted in the same capacity to the Kerala High Court.

He will be the second apex court judge to take oath as the Chief Justice of India this year. Justice Lodha took oath in April this year.

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