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It looks like there is little respite for judges post retirement, as the ghosts of judgments past come back to haunt them. And the Jallikattu judgment of 2014 might have opened a Pandora’s Box for Justice (Retd.) KS Radhakrishnan.
However, a Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice NV Ramana today offered some respite to the former apex court judge, granting a stay on the proceedings in the Madras High Court against him.
A couple of weeks ago, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had issued notice to Radhakrishnan J in a petition filed by a Jallikattu enthusiast, Salai Chakrapani. The petitioner claims that the fact that PETA India had named Justice KS Radhakrishnan as “Man of the Year” in 2014 shows that he was clearly biased against the centuries old sport. This, despite the fact that the award was received post retirement.
Justice Radhakrishnan had received the award in recognition of his judgment holding the traditional sport of Jallikattu to be in violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The judgment had created a big public uproar in Tamil Nadu, leading to another round of litigation and an agitation in Chennai, eventually culminating in Tamil Nadu amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to permit Jallikattu.
Interestingly, the case saw CJI J S Khehar in a particularly light mood as he asked Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra to read the prayers. When Luthra proceeded in a different direction, he noted,
“Mr. Luthra does not seem interested in arguing the matter. Dismissed.”
Before the stunned counsel could respond, the CJI laughingly issued notice and ordered a stay on the proceedings.
Read the order below.