Justice Chelameswar hailed for ‘upholding democracy’

Justice J Chalameswar retiring on friday
Nagpur: Supreme Court Judge Justice J. Chelameswar addresses during a public lecture organised by the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) Nagpur at Dr Vasantrao Deshpande Hall in Nagpur on April 14, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS):  Supreme Court judge Justice Jasti Chelameswar, who is retiring on Friday, shared a bench with Chief Justice Dipak Misra on his last working day and lawyers praised him saying he did a “great job in upholding democracy”. As the bench was about to rise for the day, Justice Chelameswar won the praise of lawyers. Senior advocate Rajiv Dutta thanked him saying he “upheld the ideals of democracy” during his stint as judge in the apex court. Advocate Prashant Bhushan also thanked Justice Chelameswar for his service in judiciary saying he “did a great job in upholding democracy”. “The Bar will always remember him,” he added.

Advocate Gopal Shankar Narayan thanked Justice Chelameswar for his grace, particularly towards junior members of the bar and said junior lawyers will always remember him, as Justice Chelameswar rose for the day, folded both his hands and said: “It’s my only response”. It is a custom and practice of the Supreme Court that on his last working day, a retiring judge shares bench with the Chief Justice in Courtroom number one.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Misra, Justice Chelameswar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on Friday sat for approximately 15 minutes, as only 11 matters were listed before the bench and out of which 10 were transfer petitions related to matrimonial disputes. During the course of the hearing of cases, the court was full with lawyers, but Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President, Vice President were not present there. Justice Chelameswar had turned down the SCBA’s request to participate in a farewell function it wanted to arrange for him, saying he wanted his retirement to be a “private affair”.

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The 65-year-old judge — is one of the four top court judges who held the unprecedented press conference in January saying “all was not well” on the administrative side of the Supreme Court. Justice Chelameswar will retire on June 22 but his last working day was on Friday, since the court goes on summer vacation after that.

On Thursday, on the eve of his last working day as Justice Chelameswar was sitting in courtroom No 2, senior advocate and former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan and senior advocate Dushyant Dave praised his “courage, judicial approach and uprightness”.


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