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Justice Chelameswar declines invite for his farewell

Justice J Chelameswar Declines To Attend His Own Farewell

SCBA president Vikas Singh had requested Justice Chelameswar a few days ago to attend the farewell, where the association presents the retiring judge a memento and the judge writes a message to lawyers which is kept for posterity.

It is believed that the Supreme Court judge, who is seen as the prime mover of the decision of the four senior-most judges of the top court to hold a press conference to air their grievances about the style of functioning of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, has declined the farewell invite since it would have put him and the CJI in an awkward situation.

Although Justice Misra had heard the petition on the first date, it was later withdrawn from his bench and transferred to a three-judge bench led by the CJI that eventually ruled out foul play in judge Loya's death and passed scathing remarks against the petitioner's lawyers for misusing the public interest litigation (PIL) platform. On Wednesday, Justice Chelameswar did not attend the SC.

As the judge who dissented the quashing of the NJAC, Justice Chelameswar had fought for transparency in the functioning of the collegium and even resolved to stay away from the collegium meetings.

Citing personal reasons, Justice Chelameswar who is scheduled to retire on June 22 politely refused to participate in the function. Notably, Justice Mishra also expressed his displeasure that the Supreme Court Bar Association had remained silent on the matter.

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a letter to the CJI said that justice Joseph's proposed appointment was not "appropriate" because there were "more senior, suitable and deserving chief justices and puisne judges of various high courts".

That can only happen once the Chief Justice convenes a formal meeting of the Collegium and places that on the agenda. The retiring judge also makes a speech. They claimed that sensitive matters were being allocated to junior judges.

Meanwhile, in his letter to his colleagues in the Collegium, Justice J Chelameswar has made clear that K M Joseph's name must be reiterated, as there is no change in the facts on the ground regarding his case.

He was part of the two-judge bench that delivered the historic judgement striking down section 66 (A) of the IT Act.