Leaving with satisfaction, I did my best: CJI Bobde
(Sourced from PTI)
Outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde on Friday said that he was leaving the Supreme Court with happiness, goodwill, and very fond memories, and the satisfaction of having done his best. Justice Bobde, who decided several key cases during his tenure including the historic Ayodhya verdict, was administered oath as the 47th CJI in November 2019 and is retiring today.
Bobde headed the Indian judiciary during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic ensuring that the apex court kept functioning albeit via video conferencing. "I must say that the last day has evoked mixed feelings which are difficult to describe. I have been a part of the ceremonial bench before but did not feel such mixed feelings which could enable me to say things clearly," he added.
Bobde said that he was demitting office after 21 years as a judge and it has been his richest experience in the top court and the camaraderie with brother judges has been wonderful.
Contending that transition to the virtual mode during the pandemic wouldn't have been possible without the registry, Bobde said that there are many unsatisfactory things about virtual hearings which can be ironed out. "Advantage was that hearings were homely as I could see hills behind lawyers, sculptures and paintings behind lawyers. The painting behind SG Mehta has been removed now," he added.
"I leave with the satisfaction that I did my best. I hand over the baton to Justice NV Ramana (48th CJI) who I am sure will very ably lead the court," Bobde said. Attorney General KK Venugopal said that the tenure of a CJI must be a minimum of three years.
Venugopal said, "In March 2020 the world was suffering from COVID-19. Supreme Court also had to take a call and the bar thought the court will close down. But then CJI Bobde rose to the occasion and started virtual hearing and almost 50,000 cases have been disposed of." He said that bar should unanimously applaud the CJI for the work he has done.
Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association President Shivaji Jadhav said, "We acknowledge the smoothness with which the CJI created a transmission from physical to virtual courts." He urged that after summer vacation, the SC should consider opening the courts for physical hearings with due precautions.
Born on April 24, 1956, in Nagpur, Justice Bobde completed BA and LLB degrees from Nagpur University. He was enrolled as an advocate of the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978. He practiced law at the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court with appearances at Bombay before the Principal Seat and before the Supreme Court for over 21 years.
Bobde was designated as a senior advocate in 1998. He was elevated to the Bombay HC in March 2000 as Additional Judge and sworn in as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh HC in October 2012 and was elevated as an SC judge in April 2013.