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Home > News > Report

New Pak Chief Justice's India connection

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | March 20, 2007 20:50 IST
Last Updated: March 21, 2007 00:14 IST

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Miles away from his home in Pakistan, where turmoil prevails over the unceremonious ouster of the country's top judicial official, the new Chief Justice designate Justice Rana Bhagwan Das has been on a spiritual sojourn in Lucknow for the past 20 days.

Earlier scheduled to depart from Lucknow on March 22, Justice Das was understood to have cut short his stay and leave the city on Wednesday to proceed back home and assume his new coveted office.

Some senior officials from the Pakistan embassy arrived in Lucknow on Tuesday to arrange for his journey back home. As Chief Justice, he would create history as the first Hindu to occupy the highest judicial office on that land.

A Hindu Sindhi, Justice Das was a regular at the daily 'satsang' (spiritual discourse) by locally well-known spiritual lady 'Guru' Lilu Sajnani Bhagwan in Lucknow. On Monday, he was also visible at functions to observe the Sindhi festival of 'Cheti Chand' that marks the commencement of the Sindhi calendar.

However, while maintaining an extremely low profile, he refused to give audience to the media or accept hospitality of the top brass in the Uttar Pradesh administration or the state judiciary. Despite much effort by the entire local media, it was impossible for any scribe to get access to him.

"I have come here solely on my routine spiritual mission and will like to confine myself to this," he was stated to have told a top judicial officer of the state who sought to extend an invitation to him.

"He even declined to accept the official protocol offered by the state government or even by several affluent businessmen of the city and prefers to live like an ordinary humble devotee," disclosed Mukesh Jashnani, a well known city trader who has been interacting with Justice Das ever since he arrived in Lucknow three weeks ago.

"Most of his day is spent in 'satsangs' largely devoted to recital and discourses on the Holy Gita," he said.

Jashnani told, "I have not seen such a simple person in my life; in fact when I met him for the first time about five years ago during a similar visit to Lucknow, it was difficult to believe that a person holding the position of a judge in the Pakistan Supreme Court could be so unassuming."

"Even today, he does not mind commuting by an auto-rickshaw and is happier living in a simple home of a local Sindhi rather than avail the luxurious hospitality that many are willing to offer to him," he added.

The Pakistani Chief Justice designate has been visiting Lucknow during this period since about seven years and spends most of his time at the morning and evening spiritual discourses, which are attended by over 330 members of the Sindhi community.

For Justice Das, who has become an ardent followed of the Lucknow-based 'Guru,' a visit to Lucknow has become a must once a year. In fact, he makes it a point to be in the city for three to four weeks, whenever he can spare time from his hectic judicial schedule.