Tasked with the responsibility of supervising the working of the Supreme Court constituted committee to “enquire, investigate and determine” allegations raised by petitioners in the Pegasus matter, retired judge Justice Raju Varadarajulu Raveendran said “it will be be his endeavour to oversee the functioning of the Technical Committee in the manner directed by the” SC.
Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone from Bengaluru, Justice Raveendran, who retired as a judge of the Supreme Court, said he was yet to receive a copy of the order from the court and that he “will not be in a position to comment” on anything until he gets the same.
Born on October 15, 1946, Justice Raveendran secured a Bachelor’s degree in science and law and was enrolled as an Advocate in March 1968.
He was appointed as a permanent Judge of the Karnataka High Court on February 22, 1993 and as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court on July 8, 2004. Appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court on September 9, 2005, Justice Raveendran remained in office for six years before retiring on October 15, 2011.
During his tenure in the SC, Justice Raveendran delivered several important judgments in matters touching on constitutional law, reservation, human rights and education.
Deciding a matter concerning removal of Governors, a Constitution Bench comprising Justice Raveendran condemned the tendency to change Governors upon a change of regime at the Centre.
The Bench ruled that “the Governor cannot be removed on the ground that he/she is out of sync with the policies and ideologies of the Union government or the party in power at the Centre. Nor can he/she be removed on the ground that the Union government has lost confidence in him/her”.
At his farewell event, Justice Raveendran’s advice for young lawyers was not to express anger when they lose a case and instead accept the results philosophically. He also appealed not to impute motives to judges when the decision goes against as that will destroy the institution.
Post-retirement, he was part of the R M Lodha Committee appointed by the Supreme Court in 2015 to reform the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
In August 2017, the SC requested him to oversee the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into Kerala resident Akhila’s conversion to Islam after which she assumed the name Hadiya and her marriage with a Muslim man named Shefin Jahan, but Justice Raveendran turned down the request.
His latest book “Anomalies in Law & Justice: Writings Related to Law & Justice” was released by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana in June this year.
Speaking at the event, former CJI R C Lahoti said that Justice Raveendran never raised his voice in the court, never lost balance, never made any comments nor criticised anyone. “He would never deliver sermons. He believed his duty was to the facts of the case and not to judge the persons,” Justice Lahoti had said.
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