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The combined farewell of Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra witnessed some very interesting statements and counter statements as well as some remarkable revelations from different persons making it one of the most eventful farewells held in the Supreme Court in the recent past.
CJI Sathasivam is retiring tomorrow while Justice Misra will demit office on April 27. Today was the last working day for both the judges and the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) organised a combined farewell for both the judges.
When the farewell ceremony began in the Supreme Court lawns, Justice Misra’s absence was conspicuous. She finally arrived 5 minutes after the function was under way.
Speaking on the occasion, Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran described CJI Sathasivam as a “model judge” who “always remained humble” despite the high offices he has held. He went on to refer to Justice Misra as a judge who filled the void left by Justice Ruma Pal.
Subsequently, Chief Justice Designate RM Lodha proceeded to take a dig at Justice Misra and her infamous habit of coming late to the court. He said that “whatever time she came to the court, it was 10.30 for her.”
Justice Misra also did not hold back when she said in her speech that “Though I did not care for the wall clock, I have tried my best to compensate it with quality.” She also revealed that former Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan played a big role in her elevation to the Supreme Court. “Justice KG Balakrishnan believed in my abilities and I thank him for providing me this opportunity”, she said. Further, she divulged that she was often afraid to ask questions to Ram Jethmalani and Fali Nariman when they argued before her.
Outgoing Chief Justice P Sathasivam, who was the last to speak, also stressed on the necessity of punctuality and praised Justices Lodha and Dattu for their strict adherence to court timings. He also criticised the practice of junior lawyers taking passovers citing senior’s absence while also coming down upon people filing frivolous Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The function came to a close with CJI Sathasivam releasing the first SCBA newsletter.
SCBA President PH Parekh’s closing remark that the “Members of the SCBA have agreed to condone the delay of Justice Misra and declare her clock as the villain” evoked final laughs.
Justice RM Lodha will take charge as the new CJI on April 27 and will serve a relatively short term of 5 months.