Justice Chelameswar to Skip His Own Farewell Function
Justice Chelameswar addresses the press.
Justice Chelameswar addresses the press.(Photo: IANS)

Justice Chelameswar to Skip His Own Farewell Function

Justice J Chelameswar, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court who retires on 22 June, has declined an invitation from the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for his farewell function citing personal reasons.

Justice Chelameswar had recently courted controversy by holding a press conference along with other three senior most SC judges, Justices Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph, on 12 January in which a litany of allegations were made against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

SCBA President Vikas Singh said the bar body had met him last week to invite him for the farewell on 18 May, which is the last working day of the Supreme Court before the summer vacation.

“He declined the invite for the farewell function,” Singh told PTI.

He said the members of the executive committee of SCBA on Wednesday once again tried to persuade him to attend the farewell function but the judge did not agree, citing personal reasons.

The judge also told the members of the bar that he had not accepted a farewell earlier when he was moving out of the Andhra Pradesh High Court to another high court.

SCBA Honorary Secretary Vikrant Yadav said the senior most judge on 9 May, met the members of the bar at his residence, had a chat with them, but declined the invite for his farewell.

He said it is a tradition that when a judge is retiring during the vacation, a farewell is thrown on the last working day before the holidays.

Justice Chelameswar on Wednesday, 9 May, did not come to the apex court for judicial work.

As a result, he also missed the traditional Wednesday lunch of the judges when one of them takes a turn to bring ‘ghar ka khana’ (home food), ie delicacies from his or her home state. This was the third consecutive Wednesday when Justice Chelameswar did not attend court.

Just a day before the news of Chelameswar rejecting the farewell invitation broke, the apex court dubbed as "piquant and unprecedented" the situation in the matter of impeachment of the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, saying while the CJI was a party, four other judges "may also have some role".

Justice J Chelameswar remarked that the law that nobody will be a judge in his own cause has undergone changes "in the last few months".

Responding to the argument of the two Congress MPs that the court should tell them where to mention the matter seeking a copy of administrative order to set up a larger bench to deal with their petition, a five-judge bench headed by Justice AK Sikri said:

It is a piquant and unprecedented situation where CJI is a party and other four judges may also have some role. We don’t know.

The lawmakers, who later withdrew their plea challenging the decision of the Rajya Sabha chairman to reject the notice to impeach the CJI, told the bench that they should be given a copy of the administrative order by which the constitution bench was constituted overnight to hear their petition.

(With inputs from PTI)

(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit Send.)

(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Follow our India section for more stories.

    Also Watch