NEW DELHI: After fighting hard for more than six months during which they abstained from meeting in public, Presiding Judge Dipak Misra and Judge J Chelameswar finally shared the stand on the last working day of the senior judge and were seen from Mutual agreement. at least while deciding 11 cases listed before them.
According to the convention, a Supreme Court judge sits with the president of the Supreme Court on his last day of work, but it is speculated that Judge Chelameswar can not share the court with CJI because of a bitter relationship, which became public when the The senior judge, along with three other senior judges, rebelled against Judge Misra in January and accused the CJI of assigning sensitive cases to the court of their preferences. The controversial press conference of the four judges had unleashed the debate on the impeachment of CJI.
The tension between them has simmered since then and Judge Chelameswar ignored his displeasure at the conduct of the CJI while raising doubts about his administrative and judicial decision. He had even refused to accept Shanti Bhushan’s argument against the CJI regarding the allocation of cases to different banks and had said that he did not want the CJI to revoke another order within the next 24 hours. While speaking at a public function, Judge Chelameswar admitted that their differences continued and that they were “working together” for the good of the institution.
Leaving aside their differences, both showed camaraderie while sitting together with Judge D and Chandrachud in court number 1. There was unanimity among them in deciding cases and CJI was seen consulting his brother judge before passing the order.
On normal days, at least 50 cases, including some important and sensitive ones, are listed before the CJI bank, which remains until 4 PM, but the list was cut on Friday and only requests for transfer in marital disputes were on the board and the court decided the cases half an hour. The CJI, which is the subject of the list, may not have assigned sensitive cases to ensure that the difference of opinion between him and Judge Chelameswar does not arise during the hearing.
Although it is also a convention that the president of the SC association is present in court to bid farewell to a retiring judge, the association office was notably absent and that task was carried out by defender Prashant Bhushan and Rajiv Dutta. Judge Chelameswar had previously refused to participate in the farewell function organized by the Bar at the SC facilities.
In praising Judge Chelameswar, Bhushan said that future generations would remember him for his role in upholding the rule of law and protecting the judiciary. Echoing Bhushan’s feelings, Dutta said that the judge had been instrumental in defending some of the most precious principles and that the school would always be grateful.
With CJI smiling at his side, Judge Chelameswar said with his hands together “This may be my only answer” and left the court with CJI, with whom he had entered the SC facilities as judge with the two raised the same day in October 11, 2011.
Although Justice Chelameswar had issued many landmark verdicts, including his trial of disagreement in the NJAC case for furthering the dismantling of the collegium system, he, however, will go down in history as a judge who dared to rebel against CJI.
Paying tribute to Justice Chelameswar, senior defender Shanti Bhushan and Dushyant Dave had previously said that he was one of the best judges produced by SC and equated him with the legendary judge H R Khanna.