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Sealing shops toughest call ex-CJI took

Asked what was the most difficult decision of his tenure as CJI, he said it was the sealing issue, reports Satya Prakash.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2007 00:58 IST

Terming the sealing of commercial establishments in the residential areas of the capital as him most difficult decision, outgoing Chief Justice of India YK Sabharwal on Saturday said he was even accused of being “insensitive” to the sufferings of the people by some of his own relatives.

Asked what was the most difficult decision of his tenure as CJI, he said it was the sealing issue. “Not because of law but because of the fact that I knew people were suffering. It was alleged that I don’t have compassion and humanitarian considerations…But I think if there is a law then that must be implemented,” he said on the eve of his retirement.

“I had to stick to law and I cannot make a new law. I have to implement the law,” he said adding that it was for the legislatures to repeal a law.

To a question whether he ever felt under pressure from any quarter, particularly during the sealing case when the judiciary and the executive were at loggerheads, he replied in the negative.

“People exert pressure on you only if you come under pressure. It depends upon your approach. If your fundamentals and approach are clear and you are alive to the oath you have taken as a judge, then the pressure will not come,” he said. Justice Sabharwal recalled how one of his relatives asked him about his sealed property and sarcastically commented aap bade aadami ho.

He said people of Delhi had to suffer due to the corruption in the local bodies and not because of the court orders. It was due to corruption that the problem acquired such proportions, he said.

Justice Sabharwal also expressed concern over the delay in justice delivery system and favoured time bound trials.

First Published: Jan 14, 2007 00:58 IST