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'Independence of justice shall stand erect,' says retiring Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in farewell speech

Justice Dipak Misra, who retires as the Chief Justice of India on Tuesday, said that the Indian judiciary is the "most robust institution" in the world, and young lawyers were assets with potential to develop the jurisprudence. He made the statement at the farewell organised for him at the premises of the Supreme Court.

"Our judiciary has been the strongest judiciary in the world, having the capability to handle a mind-boggling number of cases," Justice Misra said. "Justice must have human face."

 Independence of justice shall stand erect, says retiring Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in farewell speech

Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra speaking at his farewell fucntion. ANI

On his tenure as a judge, he said: "History can be sometimes kind, sometimes unkind. I don't judge people by their history but by their activities and perspective. In my whole career as a judge, I never dissociated myself from the lady of equity."

Emphasising the importance of maintaining independence of the judiciary, Misra added: "Independence of justice shall stand erect. There always was and is collegiality among the brother and sister judges of the Supreme Court."

Thanking the Supreme Court Bar Association, Misra said, "I am indebted to the Bar at every level and go from here with satisfaction."

Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who will be sworn in as the next Chief Justice of India on Wednesday, praised the outgoing judge and said that his greatest contribution has been to civil liberties, citing Misra's recent verdicts in this regard.

Misra was part of the nine-judge constitutional bench that had declared privacy as a fundamental right. Last week, he had also presided over a number of key judgments, scrapping the law that criminalised adultery, allowing the entry of women of all ages inside the Sabarimala temple in Kerala and a decision on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya. He also headed the bench that read down and struck down a number of controversial provisions of the Aadhar Act.

In his speech introducing Misra, Justice Gogoi also spoke about the current political situation countrywide. "We live in a time of extreme political churning across the nation. We are divided on lines of caste, creed, etc. What we wear and eat are no longer small issues; we are despised because of these habits and differences."

He added that the challenge was to protect a common world view in a divided world, and this must be done through the Constitution. "If we fail in endeavour to hold true to our constitutional ideals, we will continue to kill and hate each other," he said, adding that "judges in the Supreme Court are all committed and will remain committed".

Along with Justice Gogoi, Attorney General of India KK Venugopal and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Vikas Singh also spoke at the event. Venugopal said it was "always sad" to say goodbye, adding that he does not support the idea that retired judges should not take up government posts. "Talents shouldn't go waste," he said, also calling to have the retirement age and salaries of judges raised.

On the attacks on the judiciary, Singh said: "Judges are the most vulnerable class to attack. Justice Misra was a victim of one such attack. We should not start attacking judges because that will be the death knell of this institution."

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Updated Date: Oct 01, 2018 18:31:24 IST