CJI TS Thakur retires, India to get first CJI from the Sikh community

Chief Justice of India, TS Thakur retired today amid much fanfare, completing his tenure of a little over a year at the top of the judicial pyramid.

Supreme Court lawyers gathered in droves to bid farewell to the judge who pronounced significant decisions such as outlawing religion based politics, clarifying the law on seminal issues such as entry tax and refusing to be strong armed by institutions such as the BCCI.

The soiree was organised by the SCBA in the Supreme Court lawns.

The evening witnessed an impressive turnout of judges, both past and present. Former CJI AM Ahmadi and Justice (Retd.) Anil R Dave were also in attendance.

Interestingly, Justice Jasti Chelameswar, who has been abstaining from the Collegium meetings was not present for the function.

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Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who was present at the event, bid farewell to CJI TS Thakur in a heartwarming speech.

Chief Justice designate Justice JS Khehar was at his wittiest during the evening, proceeding to indulge the audience with several personal anecdotes, including an incident where CJI TS Thakur once bought two Harris Tweed jackets because he had nothing to do at a New York airport and couldn’t resist the discounts.

The audience was regaled with delightful couplets by all who spoke at the event, as a nod to the Chief Justice’s own love for poetry.

The newly elected office bearers of the SCBA testified to his commitment to ensure better facilities for all the members, such as the opening of the litigants’ canteen and the renovation of the library and the ladies bar lounge, all of which were done within the stipulated time.

Justice TS Thakur only chose to pass on a few words of wisdom, such as his thoughts on senior designations and the race to become a judge. He noted,

 “Of late, I have seen a race to become a judge or a senior advocate. But these distinctions must come to you uninvited. If you truly are capable, wait and let them chase you.”

On the accolades he received for writing judgments of far reaching impact, he said,

“I don’t have much to say about the judgments I have handed out or delivered. But they might remind you of me later. Judges are remembered through their judgments.”

He went on to thank everyone who had been a part of his journey.

Justice JS Khehar will take oath as the 44th Chief Justice of India tomorrow and will be the first from the Sikh community to hold the post.