Justice Misra's daughter defends mom's 'villain'

Justice Misra's daughter defends mom's 'villain'

On the last day of her career, Supreme Court judge Justice Gyan Sudha Misra did not hesitate in acknowledging that “clock has been villain of my life”. 

But, 14 months after Attorney General (A-G) Mukul Rohatgi tried to make an example out of Justice Misra’s habit, her daughter hit back, saying that she was not appointed to function as a “robot” to follow “dictates of clock” but to lend “substance to justice delivery system”.

The culture of flexible timings unknowingly seeped into the system much earlier and Justice Misra had earned appreciation for her judgments, she said.  Rohatgi had earlier this month cited Justice Misra's example as “bad appointment by collegium” saying that she was elevated to the Supreme Court despite common knowledge about her propensity to attend court late.

 “She certainly did not function as a robot as she was not appointed to set an example of herself to follow the dictates of the clock but focused more on substance of justice delivery system,” Justice Misra's daughter Unnati said.

“Her elevation to the Supreme Court approved by eminent members of the judiciary is proof of the point that form of the justice delivery system is not all that matters but the substance that is of prime value,” she added.

Unnati, herself a practising lawyer, described A-G's “uttering” as reflective of his “bias and based on superficiality”. Rohatgi was not available for his comments. Interestingly, Justice Misra, who faced criticism for her late coming to the courtroom, showed no compunction about it.

In her farewell speech on April 25 last year, she said, “Clock has been villain of my life.”  “I would like to bring to your notice that Justice Misra’s name was recommended for elevation when the collegium system did not even exist and that too when she was a mere 37 years old in 1986, an age still considered very low even today for recommendation,” she wrote in her letter sent to Rohatgi on June 25.

Listing out the odds faced by Justice Misra including her husband's illness, she said her mother was elevated to the SC as fourth woman judge in recognition to her work as chief justice of Jharkhand and Rajasthan High Courts.

She further told Rohatgi that her letter should not be treated as an emotional outburst as it was written solely because his comment had sought to negative Justice Misra's upright reputation.

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