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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Short of sleep for last 13 years: Justice Midha, who passed several key judgments, retires from Delhi High Court

Justice Midha said he was helped by many people when he was young, and started practice in the district courts. He said he had a passion for teaching also and joined the Campus Law Centre from 1989 to 1992.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi |
Updated: July 7, 2021 7:59:31 am
Justice J R Midha. (Source: delhihighcourt.nic.in)

After serving as a judge for more than 13 years, passing several landmark judgments and writing books on legal issues, Justice J R Midha of the Delhi High Court will retire on Wednesday.

At a farewell function organised by the Delhi High Court Bar Association Tuesday, Justice Midha said he joined the Bar in 1982 and was elevated to Bench after 26 years in 2008. “When I joined the Bar, I purchased a briefcase and used to travel by bus from Krishna Nagar to Tis Hazari. For two years, I travelled in buses and then I had the occasion to buy a scooter on which I again continued for 5-7 years,” he said, adding that he had never dreamt of rising to such a position in the absence of any legal background or a godfather.

Justice Midha said he was helped by many people when he was young, and started practice in the district courts. He said he had a passion for teaching also and joined the Campus Law Centre from 1989 to 1992.

During Justice J R Midha virtual farewell function organised by the Delhi High Court Bar Association.

“Today when I look back at my life here in court, I am more than satisfied. I am demitting office with a lot of satisfaction and completeness. I have no regrets in life. I feel as if I had a purpose to come here which I have fulfilled.”

In a judgement released last week, Justice Midha observed that animals have a right under law to be treated with compassion, respect and dignity, while asking the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to designate areas in consultation with resident welfare associations for feeding stray dogs in the national capital. Stating that it was the moral responsibility of each and every citizen to protect animals, the judge also directed the AWBI to ensure that every RWA constitutes an animal welfare committee.

In December last year, Justice Midha said that victims are unfortunately forgotten people in the criminal justice system, which tends to think more of the rights of the offender than that of the relief to the victims of a crime. He said this while ruling that Section 357 CrPc, which empowers the courts to award compensation to the victims, is mandatory and it is the duty of all courts to consider and pass an order of fair and reasonable compensation in every criminal case. The bench comprising Justice Midha laid down a procedure for the trial courts in Delhi to follow after every conviction in a criminal case.

Recently, Justice Midha also issued detailed guidelines for execution of decrees under the code of civil procedure. He last month also ruled that a foreign state cannot claim sovereign immunity against enforcement of an arbitral award arising out of a commercial transaction.

Justice Midha has also passed significant and well-known judgements on motor accdent claims. In January, the judge constituted a special committee, which will be headed by a judge of the court, to supervise the implementation of a scheme formulated by it for Motor Accident Claims.

“My approach here from my initial days… I take the justice as truth in action so in every case my first endeavour is to find out the truth,” he said on Tuesday.

“For more than 13 years, I have stopped looking at television, I don’t read newspapers except for seeing the headlines. I have never slept completely. I am still short of sleep for the last 13 years. I hope from tomorrow onward, I will sleep. If I had the option, I will sleep for six months and then wake up fresh, but I am more than satisfied,” said Justice Midha while addressing the function.

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