CJI Chandrachud Praises Justice A S Bopanna’s Legacy at Farewell Event

Justice AS Bopanna

Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud bid farewell to Supreme Court judge Ajjikuttira Somaiah Bopanna, who will demit office on May 19, as he praised the outgoing judge’s “authentic sense of justice,” punctuality, and empathy.

CJI Commends Justice Bopanna’s Legacy

Addressing the farewell function organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on the last working day of the top court before it closes for the summer vacation, the CJI stated that during his five-year tenure, Justice Bopanna authored over 90 judgments covering areas from service to property to civil law. He emphasized that Justice Bopanna’s term symbolized integrity and an unwavering dedication to the rule of law.

“In my view, Justice Bopanna is akin to Rahul Dravid — our very own Mr. Dependable of the Supreme Court. In my interactions with him, both on the bench and outside, I have been awestruck at his ability to maintain a balance between objectivity and empathy,” the CJI remarked in his address.

About Justice Ajjikuttira Somaiah Bopanna

A first-generation lawyer, Justice Bopanna was elevated as a Supreme Court judge on May 24, 2019.

In his address to the gathering, Justice Bopanna expressed his satisfaction in ending his career as a judge of the country’s highest court. Reflecting on his tenure, he compared it to cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s innings, where each day was a new day and experience for him.

Quoting Greek philosopher Socrates, Justice Bopanna emphasized the four qualities expected of a judge — to hear courteously, to consider soberly, to answer wisely, and to decide impartially.

Present at the farewell function were Judges of the Supreme Court, Attorney General R Venkataramani, and several members of the bar.

The CJI praised Justice Bopanna’s ground-level grasp of judicial realities, which underpinned his reputation for punctuality and diligence.

“Your career, marked by integrity and an authentic sense of justice, has earned you respect and admiration from the bar and bench alike. This reputation and goodwill not only give you much to live on but also serve as an enduring legacy of your contributions to our institution,” Justice Chandrachud said.

Born on May 20, 1959, Justice Bopanna enrolled himself as an advocate in 1984 and was appointed as an additional judge of the Karnataka High Court in 2006. He became a permanent judge in March 2007 and was elevated as the chief justice of the Gauhati High Court on October 29, 2018.

Key Judicial Contributions of Justice Bopanna

As part of a bench headed by CJI Chandrachud, Justice Bopanna upheld the 27 percent reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the All India Quota (AIQ) seats in the NEET for undergraduate and post-graduate medical courses in January 2022.

In March 2021, as part of a bench headed by then CJI S A Bobde and comprising now retired Justice V Ramasubramanian, he set aside a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order restoring Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the Tata Group.

Justice Bopanna was also part of a five-judge bench that, in January last year, upheld by a majority the Centre’s 2016 decision to demonetize the currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations.

In May last year, his bench expressed concern over a lack of committees in government departments to probe sexual harassment charges at workplaces and said the issue needs urgent amelioration through a robust and efficient implementation of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act.

Read More: Supreme CourtDelhi High CourtStates High CourtOther CourtsInternational

Recommended For You

About the Author: Nunnem Gangte