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Justice Chelameswar refuses to attend farewell

10 May 2018
Justice Chelameswar refuses to attend farewell

"However, Justice Chelameswar said he had never taken farewell from any HC, not even from his parent Andhra Pradesh HC", Kaushik said.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) said on Wednesday it will not organise the customary farewell for Justice J. Chelameswar after he expressed his inability to attend it, citing "personal reasons".

This criticism, perhaps, could have been warded off had the Chief Justice held consultations with the collegium members.

After sitting over the Collegium's recommendations for over three months, the Centre sent back Justice Joseph's name for reconsideration in the last week of April.

Justice Chelameswar was later seen meeting an Opposition MP from CPI that same day following which Opposition MPs chose to bring a removal motion against CJI Dipak Misra based on the allegations made by the judges. Justice Chelameswar had told senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioners, to return on Tuesday at 10.30am.

Usually, retiring judges attend court in the Chief Justice's courtroom and, as they rise for the day, graciously accept the best wishes of the lawyers present in court. Earlier, Justice Chelameswar stood out by raising the banner of protest against the non-transparent and arbitrary functioning of the Collegium.

The Law Minister's letter to the Chief Justice mentioned "seniority" being disregarded, the fact that he was from Kerala, which "already" has representation and the fact that there were no judges form SC/ST backgrounds.

Chelameswar also mentioned about last Wednesday's collegium meeting, which deferred a decision, and emphasised on the need to protect the independence of the judiciary, a Supreme Court source said.

According to New18, Chelameswar has also refused to take up the role of executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), a position nearly exclusively reserved for the seniormost judge in the SC, as well as a similar position with the state legal services authority. The recommendation is in limbo with the government sending the file back to the collegium for re-consideration.

Justice C. Nagappan, who retired two years ago, also refused a farewell.