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While delivering his address during a webinar commemorating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court Abhay Shreeniwas Oka remarked that the Father of the Nation's message of tolerance is an essential quality for judicial officers and judges to have.
The webinar titled Relevance of Gandhi in 2020 was organized by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, the High Court Legal Services Committee, and the District Legal Services Authority, Bengaluru Urban, in association with Water Institute, Bangalore University.
Highlighting the importance of tolerance for judges and judicial officers, CJ Oka commented,
He further added,
"The thoughts adopted by Mahatmaji on the issue of tolerance, on the issue of God, on religion and most importantly, on the issue of freedom, continue to guide us even today."
During his address, CJ Oka also mentioned Gandhi's stint as a lawyer in South Africa.
"What he did as a lawyer in South Africa is a lesson to every member of the Bar, to every member of the legal fraternity....While he practiced law there, he became a civil rights activist."
CJ Oka further noted that Mahatma Gandhi strongly believed that it was the duty of a lawyer to facilitate amicable settlements between parties. This is what we say during Lok Adalats as well, recalled CJ Oka.
Gandhi's principles on economics also found a mention in CJ Oka's address.
CJ Oka expressed that had Gandhi's words been followed in true letter and spirit, perhaps the migrant labourers would not have had to migrate to different cities in search of employment.
In the course of his speech, CJ Oka also spoke of Lal Bahadur Shastri, who shared his date of birth with Gandhi.
As a closing remark, CJ Oka opined,
"Whether you are a judicial officer, a law student or an engineering student......the thoughts adopted by Mahatmaji are relevant and will continue to be relevant."