Independence of judiciary strong enough: Justice Misra

Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra with CJI-designate Justice Ranjan Gogoi during the launch of SCBA Group Life Insurance policy, at the Supreme court lawns, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Monday said the independence of the judiciary and the Supreme Court are strong enough, any kind of craftsmanship cannot steal it away.

In a farewell speech in a function organised at the Supreme Court lawn here, the CJI said he would go as “wholly satisfied and contented” person. Earlier, he presided over the bench comprising incumbent CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice A M Khanwilkar on Monday as it was his last working day. He is to demit office on October 2.

CJI Misra, whose 13 months tenure as the head of judiciary was marked by the unprecedented controversy of four senior-most judges, said our judiciary is the strongest as our judges are far ahead in deciding mind-boggling number of cases. He said the young lawyers have the potential to develop new jurisprudence.

He said if ever, he were to write his autobiography, it would be titled as 'No Rhetoric'.

CJI Misra said, “Justice must have a human face. History can be sometimes kind, and unkind. I don't judge people by their history but by their activities and perspective.”

“In my whole career as a judge, I never dissociated myself from the lady of equity,” he said.

CJI-designate Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “We live in a time of extreme political churning across the nation. We are divided on lines of caste, creed etc and are despised and hated for it. What we wear and eat, are no longer the small issues. And we are despised because of these habits and these differences. But we must allow constitutional morality to prevail whenever we have a doubt.”

He said in the coming age, we would require collective efforts to establish constitutional morality.

Justice Gogoi commended CJI for his several landmark judgements related to civil liberties like Tehseen Poonawalla (mob lynching), Shakti Vahini (honour killings), Navtej Johar (Section 377 of IPC), Shafin Jahan (related to right to marriage), Charu Khurana (gender discrimination) and others.

Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh said the CJI Misra was an “unfortunate” victim of certain circumstances and some of us tried to use it to the detriment of the institution. People wanted to denigrate judges who are the most vulnerable. “An irreparable damage would have been done to the institution if the bar did not support the CJI,” he said.

Singh cited the controversy of the medical colleges scam cases which dogged the CJI. The issue snowballed into a major controversy with the opposition parties led by Congress even moving an impeachment motion against him.

The Bar president said he agreed that CJI Misra would not take up any political appointment but would be around to benefit the people with his wisdom.

Attorney General K K Venugopal said it was a time that the salary and age of judges must be hiked. He said he does not agree with the idea that the judges should not take post-retirement jobs as talents should not go waste.

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Independence of judiciary strong enough: Justice Misra

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