Hon'ble Chief Justice of India (Retd.)
Ramesh Chandra Lahoti
Ramesh at his swearing ceremony
35th Chief Justice of India
In office
1 June 2004 – 31 October 2005
Appointed byA. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Preceded byS. Rajendra Babu
Succeeded byY. K. Sabharwal
Personal details
Born(1940-11-01)1 November 1940[1]
Guna, Madhya Pradesh, British Raj
DiedMarch 23, 2022(2022-03-23) (aged 81)
New Delhi, India
SpouseKaushalya Lahoti

Ramesh Chandra Lahoti (1 November 1940 – 23 March 2022) [2] was the 35th Chief Justice of India, serving from 1 June 2004 to 1 November 2005.[3]

Education and early career

He joined the Bar in Guna district in 1960 and enrolled as an advocate in 1962. In April 1977, he was recruited directly from the Bar to the State Higher Judicial Service and was appointed a District & Sessions Judge. After functioning as a District & Sessions Judge for a year, he resigned in May 1978 and reverted to the Bar for practice mainly in the High Court.[3] He was appointed the Additional Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on 3 May 1988 and made permanent Judge on 4 August 1989. Lahoti was transferred to Delhi High Court on 7 February 1994. He was appointed a Judge of Supreme Court of India on 9 December 1998.[4] He retired on his 65th birthday giving him a term of 17 months. His predecessor had a term of just 1 month.


Justice Lahoti, a noted jurist, was economic with words and probably the least vocal among recent Chief Justices. He served one of the longest terms as Chief Justice in recent years, retiring from office after 17 months.

In November 2004, Chief Justice Lahoti, broke ground with many of his predecessors who had expressed concern about the growing corruption within the judiciary, by proclaiming that the judiciary in India was 'clean'. This was an astounding statement, especially in the light of frequent exposés in the media about errant judges across the country.

Chief Justice's handling of judicial transfers has also attracted controversy. In February 2005, Chief Justice BK Roy was transferred from the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the Guwahati High Court, on Chief Justice Lahoti's watch.[5]

Population control

Justice Lahoti upheld a Haryana law that did not allow those with more than two children to contest local body elections. He rejected arguments based on right to privacy and religion.[6]


He quashed the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act on migrants to Assam.[6]

Post-retirement activities

He was on the Advisory Board of the Indian International Model United Nations.[7] Justice Lahoti was also the Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Law at Manav Rachna University.


  1. ^ "Hon'ble Mr. Justice R.C. Lahoti". Former Hon'ble Chief Justices' of India. Supreme Court of India. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Former Chief Justice of India RC Lahoti Dies at 81".
  3. ^ a b "R. C. Lahoti (CJI)". Supreme Court of India. Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Justice R C Lahoti". Delhi High Court. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Nariman raises Roy's transfer issue with CJI". The Tribune. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Chief Justice Lahoti: Quietly assertive". Rediff.com. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  7. ^ "IIMUN: Advisor Board". www.iimun.in. 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
Legal offices Preceded byS. Rajendra Babu Chief Justice of India 1 June 2004 – 1 November 2005 Succeeded byYogesh Kumar Sabharwal