A retiring Supreme Court Judge on Friday stressed the need for projecting a united face of the higher judiciary in India, cautioning that a fractured face would only dent its credibility and paramountcy.
Justice Amitava Roy expressed his views in a farewell address at a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association on his last working day in the court.
Justice Roy will actually retire on February 28, but Friday was the last working day for the top court since it will go into a weeklong Holi vacation.
“We can’t in any way project a fractured face to anyone. If that happens, we lose credibility. If we lose credibility, we lose paramountcy of the judicial process. It is important to be together,” Justice Roy said in an apparent reference to the press conference held by four Supreme Court Judges over their grievance vis-a-vis functioning of the top court.
Each of the top court Judges is “excellent” but what is important is to be together as we share a common goal, he said.
Comparing each Judge to a musical note, Justice Roy said these musical notes translate into a melody only when they come together.
“It is only when we integrate that the melody will come,” he said while cautioning that any cracks would be taken advantage of by “elements who have no faith in law and institutions”.
He said only a united judiciary can be independent, fearless, and resolutely pursue its mission.
“We have to be proud of our institution, and pride in the institution comes from love for the institution, and that generates a different kind of attachment for the institution.”
Justice Roy urged the young to be positive and become good human beings. Telling the legal fraternity to shun negativity, Justice Roy said: “Always be good human beings that reflects in your thoughts, words and reflections.”
Chief Justice Dipak Misra, speaking on the occasion, appreciated Justice Roy’s contribution and recalled they sat on the same bench that sat till small wee hours to hear the last-ditch plea of 1993 Mumbai bomb blast convict Tiger Memon.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal described Justice Roy as Judge of “great integrity” who was part of the bench that pronounced judgments of far-reaching consequences. He regretted that Judges in the Supreme Court were retiring at the age of 65 — a practice not seen anywhere else in the world.
The Attorney General urged the government to give a fresh look to the issue of top court Judges’ retirement age.
“It is pity that Judges of the Supreme Court retire at the age of 65, which is loss of talent.”