In a heartfelt farewell ceremony organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud paid glowing tribute to retiring Supreme Court judges Justices KM Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, and V Ramasubramanian, acknowledging their significant contributions to the service of the nation. The event, held prior to their actual retirement date due to the court’s summer vacation, celebrated the distinguished careers of these eminent judges.
Justice KM Joseph, the third-most senior judge, emphasized the crucial role of judicial independence in preserving a democratic way of life and upholding the rule of law. He emphasized that a democratic nation with a constitution must guard against slipping into chaos, and the legal fraternity has a responsibility to uphold the principles of justice and democracy across generations.
Chief Justice Chandrachud fondly recollected his personal association with Justice Joseph, as they were neighbors in Delhi during their student days. He praised Justice Joseph’s profound knowledge of the law and his humble demeanor, highlighting his eloquence as a lawyer and erudition as a judge. Justice Joseph’s judgments on a wide range of legal subjects, including commercial and constitutional law, are expected to have a lasting impact in the field.
Justice Chandrachud also expressed gratitude to Justice Rastogi for his remarkable career and dedication to the pursuit of justice. He commended Justice Rastogi’s commitment to making the court paperless during the challenging times of the Covid pandemic. Notably, Justice Rastogi delivered important judgments on service and labor-related issues, including the grant of permanent commission to women in the Indian Navy.
Justice V Ramasubramanian, known for his humility and simplicity, was also praised by the Chief Justice. Despite having received formal education in the Tamil language and learning English only at the undergraduate level, Justice Ramasubramanian authored a book and made significant contributions to the judiciary. His presence in the courtroom was known to lighten the mood, and his hard work and achievements serve as an inspiration to law interns and young lawyers.
The retiring judges have left an indelible mark on the judiciary, and their contributions will be remembered for years to come. Their farewell ceremony served as a reminder of the importance of judicial independence, the pursuit of justice, and the dedication required to uphold the principles of democracy and the rule of law in the nation.