Justice J Chelameswar retires: 'Younger generation stood by me while established lawyers attacked me', he says
Justice J Chelameswar, who had his last working day on Friday, shared the dais with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
Justice J Chelameswar, who had his last working day on Friday, shared the dais with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. He retires on 22 June but sat in a bench headed by the CJI along with Justice DY Chandrachud as Friday was the last working day before the apex court goes for the long summer vacation.
It is a custom in the top court that a retiring judge, on his last day, is given the honour of sitting with the CJI in the majestic court number 1.
He also attended a reception organised by Lawyers Collective on Friday evening and began his address by acknowledging the support that he received from the younger generation. He also censured "one crore a day lawyers", who he felt "hardly open their mouth" and "hardly take a stand", according to Live Law.
The report quoted him as saying, "It was pointed out to me that over the last year and a half, I have undertaken to democratise the institution. It's the younger generation that has stood by me. The established and acknowledged constitutional lawyers and jurists attacked me from every side."
Talking about his work, he said, "If something is good, it is to be preserved; if something is doubtful, it is to be checked and rectified; if something is bad, it is to be destroyed. I worked with that belief; I had nothing personal against anyone in the system. Wherever I perceived that things were going wrong, I stood up, I raised questions," Bar and Bench quoted him as saying.
Referring to the press conference that the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, including Justice Chelameswar, held, he was quoted as saying by Bar and Bench, "What is the law that says judges cannot hold press conferences? They shouldn’t do it to defend their judgments… I knew that when I opened my mouth, I would have to go through all this, and I was willing to take it."
Justice Chelameswar was the one to make public the concerns over rostering by the Chief Justice of India. The other three most senior judges of the top court – Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph – joined him in the unprecedented press conference on 12 January.
With inputs from PTI
Several petitions have been filed in the apex court against the Karnataka High Court verdict holding that wearing of hijab is not a part of the essential religious practice, which can be protected under Article 25 of the Constitution
He will assume charge on 27 August after incumbent N V Ramana demits office the day before