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SC bids adieu to 'Mr Dependable' Justice A S Bopanna

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
May 17, 2024 22:32 IST
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Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud on Friday bid farewell to Supreme Court judge A S Bopanna, who will demit office on May 19, as he hailed the outgoing judge's "authentic sense of justice", punctuality and empathy.

IMAGE: Justice A S Bopanna. Photograph: ANI Photo

Speaking at the farewell function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association on the last working day of the top court before it closes for the summer vacation, the CJI said in his tenure of five years, Justice Bopanna authored more than 90 judgments in areas ranging from service to property to civil law, and his term symbolised integrity and an unwavering dedication to the rule of law.

"In my view, Justice Bopanna is akin to Rahul Dravid -- our very own Mr Dependable of the Supreme Court. In my interactions with him, both on the bench and outside, I have been awestruck at his ability to maintain a balance between objectivity and empathy," the CJI said in his address.

A first-generation lawyer, Justice Bopanna was elevated as a Supreme Court judge on May 24, 2019.

In his address to the gathering, Justice Bopanna said it was "highly satisfying" for him to end his career as a judge of the country's highest court.

Reflecting on his tenure in the Supreme Court, he said just as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar began his innings from zero in every match, each day was a new day and experience for him.


"I remembered what Sachin Tendulkar had said when he was asked about his century of centuries. He said when I go in to bat the next time, in the next match, I have to again start from zero and the focus will be on that to build another innings and I cannot rest on the laurels of a century scored. It was a similar experience for me in the Supreme Court and each day was a new day and a learning experience," he said.

Quoting Greek philosopher Socrates, Justice Bopanna emphasised that there are four qualities that are expected of a judge -- to hear courteously, to consider soberly, to answer wisely and to decide impartially.

Judges of the Supreme Court, Attorney General R Venkataramani and several members of the bar were present at the farewell function.

The CJI said it was Justice Bopanna's ground-level grasp of judicial realities that underpinned his reputation for punctuality and diligence.

"Your career, marked by integrity and an authentic sense of justice, has earned you respect and admiration from the bar and bench alike. This reputation and goodwill not only give you much to live on but also serve as an enduring legacy of your contributions to our institution," Justice Chandrachud said.

Born on May 20, 1959, Justice Bopanna enrolled himself as an advocate in 1984 and was appointed as an additional judge of the Karnataka High Court in 2006.

He became a permanent judge in March 2007 and was elevated as the chief justice of the Gauhati High Court on October 29, 2018.

As part of a bench headed by CJI Chandrachud, Justice Bopanna, in January 2022, upheld the 27-per cent reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the All India Quota (AIQ) seats in the NEET for undergraduate and post-graduate medical courses.

In March 2021, as part of a bench headed by then CJI S A Bobde and also comprising now retired Justice V Ramasubramanian, he set aside a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order restoring Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the Tata Group.

Justice Bopanna was also part of a five-judge bench, which in January last year upheld by a majority the Centre's 2016 decision to demonetise the currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations.

In May last year, his bench expressed concern over a lack of committees in government departments to probe sexual harassment charges at workplaces and said the issue needs urgent amelioration through a robust and efficient implementation of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.