Justice GS Singhvi, known for his bold but compassionate approach towards the weak and downtrodden, ended his six-year stint at the Supreme Court with a verdict reversing a Delhi high court judgment that decriminalised consensual gay sex.
The senior-most after Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam, Justice Singhvi pronounced some of the landmark judgments including the cancellation of 122 2G spectrum licences allotted in 2008. A bench headed by him even ordered a CBI inquiry into the spectrum allocation. Recently, he directed a further CBI probe into various aspects of criminality arising out of the intercepted conversations of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with companies, politicians and journalists.
A day before he retired, Justice Singhvi delivered the judgment that ended the era of small-time politicians and bureaucrats flashing red beacon lights on their cars. Every judgment of his showed concern for the rule of law. He was never worried about what the media wrote or how the bar or his colleagues reacted to his judgments.
“I will not say anything. Please read my judgment,” justice Singhvi told reporters when they sought his reaction to the public anger over his judgment on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (on gay sex).
As solicitor general Mohan Parasaran says, Justice Singhvi emerged as the “champion of judges” by giving path-breaking verdicts on issues related to land acquisition. “His compassion to defend the weak set him apart,” Parasaran said during the Supreme Court Bar Association’s (SCBA) farewell function to Justice Singhvi.
SCBA president MN Krishnamani said Justice Singhvi was a great upholder of law. Chief justice Sathasivam praised his outgoing colleague for performing his duties without fear and favour.