Justice RM Lodha, who was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India, is known for his simplicity in his hometown. This can be seen by the fact there was no formal jubilation at his native house in Paota area of Jodhpur. However, the people who know him personally were proud to see him on top of Indian judicial system on Sunday.
A photo of Chief Justice of India Rajendra Mal Lodha during a press conference after his swearing-in ceremony at the Supreme Court in New Delhi. (Arvind Yadav/HT photo)
“He (Justice Lodha) is a common man who reached this height with dedication, honesty and hard work. This is a moment of pride for us that a native of Jodhpur has assumed the charge of the CJI,” said Kashi Nath Joshi, the senior-most advocate of the Rajasthan high court.
Advocate Joshi, who had shared a long relationship with his father justice Sri Krishna Mal Lodha, recalled an incident where CJI Lodha at a function in Jaipur came down from the dais to honour him. When Joshi wished him with folded hands, Justice Lodha said that the hands of veterans are only meant to bestow blessing to youngsters.
Many members of the judicial society of Jodhpur recalled their memories with Justice Lodha and his family. Justice Lodha, who completed his schooling at Sardar School and studied science and law from Jodhpur University (now named Jai Narayan Vyas University), practiced law mostly at the Jaipur bench of the Rajasthan high court as his father was a judge in the principal bench here.
“When Justice Lodha was practicing in Jaipur, a petrol pump owner approached him after his business succumbed to the floods of 1981. Lodha got him a relief of `50 lakh from the court, but denied taking any fee,” recalled advocate Kailash Chandra Sharma.
According to his relatives, Justice Lodha was known as ‘raja sa’ (king) in his family. After completing his graduation, he worked for about six months in Kolkata.
After becoming a judge, he could visit Jodhpur only on a few social occasions, but staying true to his roots, he never forgot to visit Nakoda temple near Balotra in Barmer district.
Raje, Gehlot greet CJI
Jaipur: Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot on Sunday greeted Justice RM Lodha, who was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India by President Pranab Mukherjee.
“The entire Rajasthan is glorified with your appointment as the CJI. This for the first time a justice from Rajasthan has attained the highest post in judiciary. We congratulate you on this occasion,” Raje said.
Congratulating CJI Lodha, former CM Ashok Gehlot said,“We have been demanding since post-independence that Rajasthan be given a representation in selecting CJI, now it is a matter of crowning glory for the state of Rajasthan.” (PTI)