Justice Lodha (64), who is the senior-most judge of the Apex Court after Justice Sathasivam, will have a brief tenure of five months as CJI and is due to retire on September 27 this year.

The brief ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan's Durbar Hall was attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, some Union ministers, retired and serving judges, members of the Bar, besides Justice Sathasivam.

No opposition leader was present at the function.

Justice Lodha heads the bench which is monitoring CBI's probe into the coal blocks allocation scam. He was also instrumental in passing orders making the CBI independent from political clutches. The bench headed by him had said that CBI does not require sanction of the government to prosecute senior officials in cases being monitored by courts.

Born in Jodhpur, Justice Lodha enrolled with Bar Council of Rajasthan in February 1973.
He practised law in Rajasthan High Court and dealt with all branches of law -- constitutional, civil, company, criminal, taxation and labour.

He was elevated as a Permanent Judge of Rajasthan High Court in January 1994 and was transferred to Bombay High Court where he assumed office in February 1994.

Justice Lodha was transferred back to Rajasthan High Court in February 2007. He had been the Administrative Judge of the Rajasthan High Court and was chairman of State Judicial Academy.

He was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Patna High Court on May 13, 2008 and elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on December 17, 2008.


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