- Apprentice Lawyer
- Legal Jobs
Supreme Court judge Justice Jasti Chelameswar, who had his last working day today, spoke at an event held by Lawyers Collective in Delhi today.
He started his speech by saying,
“It was pointed out to me that over the last year and a half, I have undertaken to democratize the institution. It’s the younger generation that has stood by me. The established and acknowledged constitutional lawyers and jurists attacked me from every side”.
In a lighter vein, he referred to these lawyers as “one crore a day lawyers”. He said,
“They hardly open their mouth, they hardly take a stand. Even when they do take a stand, they do it to preserve the status quo.”
Justice Chelameswar also revealed the rationale behind the actions he took over the course of his career as a judge.
“If something is good, it is to be preserved; if something is doubtful, it is to be checked and rectified; if something is bad, it is to be destroyed. I worked with that belief; I had nothing personal against anyone in the system.
Wherever I perceived that things were going wrong, I stood up, I raised questions.”
The judge also spoke on the press conference he had held on January 12 with three other senior judges of the Supreme Court.
“What is the law that says judges cannot hold press conferences? They shouldn’t do it to defend their judgments…I knew that when I opened my mouth, I would have to go through all this, and I was willing to take it.”
He also revealed the feedback he had received from various persons for holding the press conference.
“In the last six months, wherever I went in the country, people have come up to me and said, ‘we are happy that you did it’. What really troubled me was that former judges of the Supreme Court and high courts called me and said, ‘We wish you more strength. Please speak up now!'”
Chelameswar J also urged the audience, particularly the younger generation, to fight the system, saying,
“The established systems are such that any questioning will not be taken lightly. You are required to have courage and determination to fight the system if you want to bring about a good change.”
Here is the full video:
Last month Justice Chelameswar spoke at the Constitution Club organized by the Harvard Club.