NEW DELHI: Four months after leading four top judges, in an unprecedented press conference against CJI Dipak Misra which set in motion a tumultuous sequence of events, Justice J Chelameswar on Wednesday set another record by refusing to take a farewell from the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).
Justice Chelameswar retires on June 22, nearly seven years after he joined the SC on October 10, 2011. The SCBA had planned a customary farewell for him on May 18, the last working day for the SC before it closes for its one and a half month long summer vacation.
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. When Justice Chelameswar expressed disinclination, Singh requested him to reconsider his decision and said it would send a wrong message in the prevailing situation. When there was no further word from the seniormost SC judge on his participation, a dozen members of the SCBA executive committee went to his residence on Wednesday to persuade him. But the judge remained adamant.
SCBA joint secretary Rahul Kaushik said the executive committee members told the judge that it was a long tradition in SCBA to bid farewell to every retiring judge. “However, Justice Chelameswar said he had never taken farewell from any HC, not even from his parent Andhra Pradesh HC,” Kaushik said. However, it is on record that Justice Chelameswar had attended the farewell function in Gauhati high court on his transfer to Kerala HC as chief justice in March 2010.