Justice B. Sudershan Reddy on Thursday retired as Supreme Court judge on attaining superannuation. He was given a farewell by members of the Bar at a function held on the lawns of the court.
During his four-and-a-half year tenure in the Supreme Court, to which he had been appointed on January 12, 2007, Justice Reddy rendered several landmark judgments on various branches of law, in particular on issues of criminal jurisprudence, Constitution, taxation, service law and human rights. With a smiling face, he endeared himself to the members of the Bar and the Bench.
A few days prior to retirement, Justice Reddy delivered a judgment criticising the Union government for its slackness in probing black money cases and ordered the constitution of a Special Investigation Team under the chairmanship of the retired Supreme Court judge, Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy, to take all steps for bringing back unaccounted monies unlawfully kept in bank accounts abroad.
Earlier, on the directions passed by his Bench, the Enforcement Directorate stayed the release on bail of Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan and paved the way for his custodial interrogation. Hasan Ali has been charged with money laundering and tax evasion.
Highlighting the importance of human rights, Justice Reddy declared illegal and unconstitutional the appointment of tribal youth as Special Police Officers/Salwa Judum or otherwise called ‘Koya Commandos' by the Chhattisgarh government to counter Maoist violence or insurgency.
He disapproved of the policy of the Army College of Medical Sciences to fill all its seats with wards of the serving and retired army personnel and widows of army personnel if they qualified themselves in the common entrance test. His judgment said: “If a vast majority of our youngsters, especially those belonging to disadvantaged groups, are denied access to the higher educational institutions in the private sector, it would mean that a vast majority of youngsters, notwithstanding a naturally equal distribution of talent and ability, belonging to disadvantaged groups would be left without access to higher education at all. That would constitute a state of social emergency with a potential for conflagration that would be on an unimaginable scale.”
Laying down guidelines, Justice Reddy said High Court judges could not treat anonymous letters and petitions listing allegations against individuals or institutions as public interest litigation (PIL) and order suo motu investigation.
Justice Reddy was part of the Constitution Bench that disposed of the case in the dispute between the Ambani brothers over gas allocation.
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