After last day’s work Justice Chandru took the suburban train home

Justice K. Chandru, a Judge of the Madras High Court, who delivered several judgments that had a social impact, retired on Friday. With his retirement, the strength of the High Court has reduced to 47 against the sanctioned strength of 60.

Mr. Justice Chandru was made an Additional Judge of the High Court on July 31, 2006 and a Permanent Judge on November 9, 2009. He had disposed of nearly 96,000 cases, both at the Principal Seat and at the Madurai Bench.

He would be remembered for several of his landmark judgments including a ruling that women could become priests in temples. He had also ruled that there should be common burial grounds, irrespective of caste, instead of such facilities based on caste, and press freedom could not be stifled.

Only recently, he held that staging of plays needed no police permission. He held as ultra vires the Constitution certain provisions of the Dramatic Performances Act. What he himself considered significant, was a judgment that there should be communal reservation in the appointment of noon-meal organisers. Known for his simplicity, he did away with some of the paraphernalia that usually accompanied a Judge.

He already made it clear that he would not accept any farewell on the date of his retirement. Before leaving, he submitted a final declaration of his assets to the Acting Chief Justice, R.K. Agrawal.

After the day’s work, he left home by a suburban train. He said he had already purchased a monthly season ticket for rail travel.

Talking to newspersons in the evening, Mr. Justice Chandru, who was clad in a dhoti and shirt, said he was fully satisfied with his tenure as a Judge. About his future plans, he said he had decided not to practise in the Supreme Court or accept any posting in tribunals. He would involve himself in public service as an advocate and in public debates.

Answering a question, he said advocates should not boycott courts as it would affect their clients. They should also not seek frequent adjournments. This would go a long way in the quick disposal of cases.

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