Updated: July 3, 2021 8:29:37 am
Justice should be tempered with mercy but justice cannot be substituted for mercy, said Supreme Court judge Ashok Bhushan at his virtual farewell organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association. He retires on July 4.
“Protection and enforcement of Constitutional right and freedom is both power and duty of the court. Grant of appropriate remedy is not the discretion of the judge but his obligation. Justice must be tempered with mercy but justice cannot be substituted for mercy,” Justice Bhushan said.
Speaking at the event, Justice Bhushan said that he had tried his best in his career as a judge to render justice.
“In the court of my moral conscience, I can say with conviction and pride that I have been true to my oath to discharge my duties without fear or favour, affection or ill-will and that I have upheld the Constitution and the laws,” he said.
Justice Bhushan could not spend his last working day in court since his mother passed away this week. He joined the virtual farewell from Prayagraj.
Appointed as a judge of the Allahabad High Court in 2001, Justice Bhushan has had a tenure of over five years as an SC judge. He was part of several key verdicts including the 2019 ruling in the Ayodhya verdict. Last year, a bench led by Justice Bhushan took suo motu cognisance on the migrant crisis triggered by the nation-wide lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In the last week of his tenure, Justice Bhushan passed crucial orders directing states to implement the One Nation, One Ration Card scheme and ensure supply of dry ration to migrant workers. In another order, a Justice Bhushan-led bench directed the National Disaster Management Authority to recommend guidelines for ex-gratia to family members of those who have lost lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
With Justice Bhushan’s retirement, the strength of the SC is now 26 judges against a sanctioned strength of 34 judges while two more judges — Justices Rohinton Nariman and Navin Sinha — are set to retire in August. The last appointment to the top court was made in September 2019.
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