Justice Dattu
Justice HL DattuKerala High Court image

Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu was on Sunday sworn in as the 42nd Chief Justice of India by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan on Sunday.

Dattu has replaced Justice R M Lodha, who retired on Friday. Dattu, the 42nd Chief Justice of India (CJI) has been appointed for the next 14 months with his tenure ending in December, 2015.

The oath-taking ceremony of Dattu proceeded in presence of Vice-President Hamid Ansari, senior BJP leader L K Advani, home minister Rajnath Singh, urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu, retired Chief Justice R M Lodha and Justice A S Anand and other sitting and retired judges, The Times of India reported.

Dattu has earlier served as the Chief Justice of Kerala and Chhattisgarh High Courts, and was appointed as a judge at the Karnataka High Court.

On Friday, out-going CJI Justice Lodha had clarified that he would not take up any constitutional post or government assignment after demitting the office, and said that all judges should do the same.

"It is my personal view that judges should not accept any constitutional position, or any assignment associated with the government. I think we need to amend the law that ensures that at least for two years after retirement, a judge is not given a constitutional post," Business Standard quoted Lodha as saying.