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Will help institution regain past glory says CJI Designate TS Thakur
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Will help institution regain past glory says CJI Designate TS Thakur

Murali Krishnan

The Supreme Court today bid farewell to Chief Justice HL Dattu. Continuing with tradition, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) organised a farewell function for the outgoing Chief Justice which was attended by sitting and retired judges, and senior members of the Bar.

SCBA President Dushyant Dave, SCBA Vice President V Shekhar, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, and Chief Justice of India Designate TS Thakur spoke on the occasion. The speeches were peppered with interesting excerpts on Justice Dattu’s tenure, and the confrontation which the Bar had with him.

While SCBA Vice President V Shekhar said that the Bar was happy except for a few unresolved issues, SCBA Vice President Dushyant Dave and Secretary Aishwarya Bhati admitted that many of Justice Dattu’s decisions, although bona fide, were not meet with approval by the Bar.

“The Bar was extremely demanding this year, we troubled the judges a lot”, said Aishwarya Bhati.

Dave said that the Bar has its own problems while confessing that the relationship with the CJI began on a tenuous note.

“I must confess that the relationship [of the Bar] with Justice Dattu began on a tenuous note though we regard you very warmly. Many of his administrative decisions were bona fide though it did not meet with the approval of the Bar.”

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that Justice Dattu was a very popular judge as evidenced by the number of people in the pandal attending the function.

Interestingly, Rohatgi, in his speech, implored Justice Dattu to reveal the secret behind reading 100 cases and finishing the board in 3 hours.

“More than 100 cases were listed on Mondays and Fridays and the Board was over by 1 pm. He used to read all the cases. Please share the secret of reading 100 cases sir.”

Rohatgi also spoke about how Justice Dattu’s court used to function.

“I used to tell my juniors that if notice has to be issued in court 1, it has to be done in 60 secs; if it goes on for 5 mins or more, chances are it will be dismissed.”

Subsequently, Chief Justice of India Designate TS Thakur gave his address.

“Brother Dattu has set the standards very high. He is leaving an indelible impression in our minds. Around 30,000 cases were disposed of by Justice Dattu in Supreme Court [of which] 21,000 were admission matters and 9,000 [were] regular matters.”

Thakur J. also touched upon the subject of retired judges taking up post retirement jobs.

“Judges are a valuable human resource, it will be a loss to let the resource to go waste.”

Thakur J. subsequently outlined his plans for the coming year.

“Judiciary is facing challenging times. The fallout of NJAC judgment is that has made the job of superior courts much more onerous and it is a big challenge. There will be great scrutiny on the Courts as it appoints judges.”

He also said that there will be special emphasis on reducing pendency, and that he was open to the direct appointment of judges to the Supreme Court from the  Bar. He also promised to fulfill the long standing demand for a Bar room in the Supreme Court.

“2016 will be a year for clearance for arrears. We will co-operate with the BCI in improving the quality of legal education in the country. I will help this institution regain its past glory.”