Do what you're obligated to do, CJI tells judges

 Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia Friday urged judges to do what they are obliged to do in times of trouble. "Do the right (thing). Rest leave to God," Justice Kapadia said, adding: "We can't do any other thing."

"We judges can't change the world. If you do your duty and dispense justice, you have done your job," he said at a function held by the Supreme Court Bar Association to bid him farewell.

In a counsel to his successor, Chief Justice of India (CJI) designate Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Kapadia said: "The CJI has to take lead keeping in mind what is good for the institution."

Asking the judges to have professionalism and to some extent judicial reticence, he said there should be dedication, love and commitment for the people and the institution (apex court).

Judges, Justice Kapadia said, should have "professionalism, objectivity, judicial reticence and knowledge more subtle than intellect".

The outgoing chief justice of India said Indian judges could match foreign judges.
He said that in the course of his visits to Britain, Australia and other countries, he found that judgments of Indian court were appreciated.

Justice Altamas Kabir said Justice Kapadia "stood by whatever he decided".
He said Justice Kapadia was a true replica of American president Abraham Lincoln and described his tenure as a "remarkable".

Justice Kabir, who will succeed Justice Kapadia Saturday, said if they could successfully complete the entire work leading to the 'bhoomi poojan' Thursday (Sept 27) of the additional office complex of the Supreme Court, then it was due to the free hand he had given to him and other judges on the committee.

Attorney General G. Vahanvati said retirement of a judge was in any case sad but it become saddest when it concerned the retirement of a giant.  "He (Justice Kapadia) had set very high standards for himself but it was on account of declining standards around him," Vahanvati said.

Referring to Kapadia's capacity to work hard and study, Vahanvati said there was hardly a sphere of law, including international law, that was not touched by the chief justice.

The Supreme Court Bar Association president P.H. Parikh appreciated to the way Justice Kapadia steered the apex court during his tenure. He said though Justice Kapadia was the 38th chief justice of the Supreme Court, he was the first chief justice to be born after independence.

All the earlier 37 chief justices were born before Aug 15, 1947.

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