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Sunday, November 28, 2021

‘Regret I couldn’t demolish feudal culture’: Madras HC Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee pens farewell message

As he left for his new posting as the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, he also said he was sad for not “being unable to last the distance”.

Written by Apurva Vishwanath | New Delhi |
Updated: November 17, 2021 7:45:09 pm
Sanjib BanerjeeJustice Sanjib Banerjee was appointed Chief Justice of the Madras High Court on January 5 this year. (Photo source:

In a farewell message to his colleagues, outgoing Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee has expressed regret for not being able to “demolish the feudal culture” of their workplace. As he left for his new posting as the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, he also said he was sad for not “being unable to last the distance”.

“To my colleagues at the Bench: I apologise. First, for being unable to last the distance and second, for not saying goodbye to you in person,” justice Banerjee wrote in his note. Finally to the few of you who may have felt offended by any of my actions, please know that they were never personal: I perceived those actions as necessary for the institution,” Justice Banerjee wrote in his letter.

Addressing his staff, he wrote, “My regret is that I could not demolish feudal culture in which you serve.”

Sanjib Banerjee

Justice Sanjib Banerjee Letter written by Justice Sanjib Banerjee

The Supreme Court collegium headed by CJI N V Ramana had on November 9 recommended the transfer of Justice Banerjee, just eleven months after he was appointed the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court. Amid protests by advocates, the Centre notified his transfer on November 15.

Addressing the members of the Bar, Justice Banerjee expressed “sincere gratitude” for their “kind words”.

“You are among the best in the country and have suffered a talkative and sometimes grumpy old Judge with more patience, respect and understanding than I may have deserved. My sincere gratitude to you for all your kind words,” he wrote.

Following the SC collegium’s recommendation, the Madras Bar Association had passed a resolution urging the body to reconsider its decision. The resolution said that the transfer is “perceived to be punitive” and that the association “is deeply concerned with the opaqueness surrounding the transfers”.

Justice Banerjee further wrote, “Ranee and I remain forever indebted to everyone in this beautiful and glorious State we had the privilege of calling our own for the last eleven months and for the kindness and warmth with which we were greeted during the entire tenure.”

Saying that he was leaving with happy memories, he wrote “Nandri. Vanakkam”, signing off in Tamil.

Justice Banerjee had taken charge as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court on January 4 this year. He is due to retire on November 1, 2023, as per Law Ministry records.

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