New Delhi [India], July 2 (ANI): The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) of Friday bid farewell to Justice Ashok Bhushan, who said he was proud to be part of this court, which upheld democracy and rule of law.
The SCBA conducted an online farewell ceremony for Justice Ashok Bhushan, which was presided over by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana. Justice Ashok Bhushan and his family attended the farewell online.
"I have been true to my oath and discharged my duty without fear and favour. Protection and enforcement of constitutional rights is both power and duty of the court. Justice must be tempered with mercy but justice cannot be substituted by mercy," said Justice Bhushan.
He said, "I am proud to be part of this court which upheld democracy and rule of law. I am grateful for my father, who was always there to guide me, vigilantly watching over me. From my mother I learnt simplicity and grace."
He thanked his colleague judges of all the courts for their unstinted support in all these years. "No man could have asked for more. I thank the members of the Bar for always being kind and respectful inside and outside the court. The relationship I had with the Bar was not that of judge and advocate but an easy one. Their support as legal officers in cases has been sincere and consistent," Justice Bhushan said.
No one claim to be perfect as perfection is for God and all that we can try is to slowly do away without imperfections, said Justice Bhushan, adding that, "This pain to leave Supreme Court is like a dark cloud with silver lining."
Chief Justice of India NV Ramana in his address said there is a very famous German saying "Man's feelings are always the purest at the time of meeting and bidding farewell".
CJI said bidding farewell to my valuable colleague, I have mixed feelings. "I am sad that I am losing the companionship of a great colleague and his support. I am happy that he will be beginning a new chapter in his life. In fact, I am delighted to see a beaming Justice Bhushan in the company of members of his family."
Apart from being a great judge, he also has the distinction of being a fine gentleman, CJI said, adding that he is respected equally by both the Bar and the Bench, for the humility with which he conducts himself.
"Deciding cases is not an easy task, we not only have to focus on the law and precedents surrounding the issue before us, as well as the facts of the case, but also the repercussions of what we decide and the precedent we may be setting. This makes it necessary for us Judges to be logical and objective and theoretically sound. However, we should not lose sight of the people and their difficulties behind the cases. The little discretion that is given to us, is the area in which a Judge has flexibility to display his philosophy," CJI said.
He added that it is Justice Bhushan's philosophy which sets him apart from everyone else. Justice Bhushan, with his remarkable judgments, has not only left an indelible mark in the history of the Indian Judiciary, but by virtue of being a "humanist judge" has also left a mark in the minds and hearts of the people of India, CJI said.
Apart from the philosophy of a Judge, another important component of decision-making is the Bar, CJI said, adding that as Justice Bhushan said day before yesterday the, "relationship is like that of the sea and clouds."
"I must state, lawyers also serve another important role. The Bar is the protector of the institution. Lawyers must respect the institution and protect the judiciary from any onslaught which is likely to affect the functioning of the judicial system," he said.
"I understand the difficult days that are ongoing today, but always remember that the judiciary is always willing to extend their helping hand to the members of the Bar. A proper understanding between the Bar and Bench will help in resolving various issues. We must remember; in unity lies the strength," he said.
Attorney General KK Venugopal said one does not have to look far and wide to find Justice Bhushan's good qualities. "We are going to miss him and wish him many many years of good health and prosperity," he said.
Venugopal said Justice Bhushan took suo motu cognizance on the migrant workers issue directing for distribution of food grains.
"I remember long lines of children walking, with mothers carrying their children, they were migrants and tears would come to one's eye. Justice Bhushan and Supreme Court came to the rescue regarding the distribution of dry ration and run community kitchens," said Attorney General.
Ayodhya, Aadhaar case, permitting passive euthanasia, are among Justice Bhushan's best judgments, said Venugopal. His recent judgment about granting ex-gratia compensation to families affected due to Covid-19 will help so many people, "we are loosing an excellent judge and we feel sad about it," he added.
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh and President SCBA, said today is an emotional moment since "we are not only losing a great judge but also a great human being".
Singh said Justice Bhushan was part of the Aadhaar, Martha reservation judgments. He increased the number of attempts that a physically handicapped candidate can take at UPSC exams, which again show his empathy. Justice Bhushan has deep interest in poetry and religious literature, he added. (ANI)