Justice Ashok Bhushan bids adieu to Supreme court after eventful tenure

Updated on Jul 01, 2021 12:54 AM IST

Justice Bhushan is due to retire on July 4. However, Wednesday was the last day when he sat on the bench since he had to leave the city to perform funeral ceremonies for his mother, who passed away on June 22 in Prayagraj.

On his part, justice Bhushan said he was proud to have been a part of the Supreme Court.(PTI file photo)
On his part, justice Bhushan said he was proud to have been a part of the Supreme Court.(PTI file photo)
ByAbraham Thomas, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Supreme Court judge Ashok Bhushan, who was part of the bench that decided historic cases such as the Ayodhya title suit, validity of Aadhaar and the entry of women into the Sabarimala shrine, bid farewell to the apex court on Wednesday.

Justice Bhushan is due to retire on July 4. However, Wednesday was the last day when he sat on the bench since he had to leave the city to perform funeral ceremonies for his mother, who passed away on June 22 in Prayagraj.

During the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, when courts were forced to shift to a virtual mode, justice Bhushan handled some sensitive cases involving relief on interest for bank loans and problems relating to migrant workers. Even on the last day in office, he directed the Centre to provide ex-gratia relief under the Disaster Management Act to the families of the people who died due to Covid-19.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana described justice Bhushan as a valuable colleague, whose presence on the bench and various judicial committees was “reassuring”.

The CJI, delivering the farewell address, said that past CJIs recognised this attribute justice Bhushan possessed and entrusted him with deciding some of the most complicated matters. “Justice Bhushan has been a great value addition to the higher judiciary,” said the CJI, adding that his judgments reflected a “welfarist and humanist approach”.

On his part, justice Bhushan said he was proud to have been a part of the Supreme Court.

“I am proud to be a part of this Supreme Court which has always upheld democracy and rule of law. I feel too small when I look at those who have adorned the bench before me. To be part of Supreme Court is a matter of great pride for me,” said justice Bhushan.

The judge expressed his gratitude for the Bar, saying the lawyers’ contribution to his tenure as a judge was immense.

“A judgement delivered by a judge cannot be only his contribution. It is also the contribution of the Bar. The Bar’s contribution to a judgment is more. It is the Bar which is nursery of the judges,” said justice Bhushan.

He said that the relationship between judges and lawyers is like that of sea and clouds. “The judges come from the sea, and merge in the sea after that... Today, I pay homage and respectful regard to members of the Bar, both senior and junior,” said justice Bhushan while concluding his brief address.

The customary farewell was attended by judges, attorney general for India KK Venugopal, solicitor general Tushar Mehta, and the office bearers of Supreme Court Bar Association and Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association.

AG Venugopal said that while farewells are a sad event, the retirement of justice Bhushan will put “thousands and thousands of people across the country in tears” after the wealth of judgments he rendered to meet the plight of the poor, needy migrant workers and those who died due to Covid-19.

SG Mehta appreciated the decorum maintained by justice Bhushan in court and the smile that never left his face. SCBA president Vikas Singh described the judge as “humility personified” in whose court junior lawyers and senior advocates enjoyed equal respect.

Justice Bhushan, who has been of the firm view that a judge’s mettle is known by their judgments, thanked the lawyers for contributing to his judgments. Hailing from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh, justice Bhushan was sworn in as a high court judge in July 2014. He was elevated to the Supreme Court on March 26, 2015.

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