New Delhi: Dipak Misra’s 13-month-long tenure as Chief Justice of India comes to an end today. The farewell event of CJI Misra is likely to turn out to be an interesting one as he is expected to deliver a farewell speech at 4.30 pm today.
Justice Misra was appointed additional judge of the Orissa High Court on January 17, 1996, before his transfer to the Madhya Pradesh High Court. He became a permanent judge on December 19, 1997.
He assumed charge of the office of chief justice of Patna High Court on December 23, 2009 and became chief justice of the Delhi High Court on May 24, 2010.
He was elevated as a judge of the apex court on October 10, 2011 and became the Chief Justice on August 28, 2017.
Holding court for the last time on Monday, outgoing CJI Misra, while stopping a lawyer who broke into song to wish him long life, said that he was “responding from the heart” but will speak from his mind in the evening.
CJI Misra, who presided over benches that delivered a series of key verdicts like the one on Aadhaar and homosexuality during the last 10 days, appeared to be emotional during the brief court proceedings that lasted about 25 minutes.
The chief justice in his inimitable style stopped a lawyer who started singing at the fag end of the proceedings.
“Tum jiyo hazaron saal…” the lawyer crooned, singing the opening lines of a Hindi film song from the late 1950s usually played on birthdays.
CJI Misra immediately stopped him and said, “Presently I am responding from my heart. I will respond from my mind in the evening.”
Misra’s tenure as the Chief Justice has been one of the most controversial in the recent past. Firstly, corruption charges were levelled against him in the Medical college case.
Then came the famous ‘Master of Roster’ controversy when four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court – in an unprecedented press conference – for the first time in the history of Indian judiciary – expressed dissatisfaction over listing of cases, particularly those concerning leaders of the ruling government.
Later, the opposition party also initiated an impeachment motion against him, the first such motion against a Chief Justice of India.
CJI Misra has headed various benches of different combinations, and delivered several verdicts in the recent past.
These include upholding the Centre’s flagship scheme Aadhaar with certain riders and decriminalising consensual gay sex and adultery.
The verdicts also include judgements in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case and allowing all women entry into the Sabarimala temple.