Madras High Court judge K. Chandru, who is due to retire from service on March 8, has written to Acting Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal requesting him not to arrange for a farewell meeting for him.
In the letter of February 8, Mr. Justice Chandru said: “The practice of this court (in the name of tradition) is to have a farewell address in which the Advocate-General makes a farewell speech followed by a reply by the retiring judge. After the event, there will be a high tea and photo session. A dinner in a five-star hotel or elsewhere will also be organised. To end with it, a memento is given to the departing judge.
“The ritual of a farewell meeting to a retired judge must be put an end to…I will be happy if March 8, 2013 passes off as any other day in this court.”
He quoted Motilal C. Setalvad, the first Attorney-General of the country, who had “deprecated” the practice of bidding farewell to a judge on behalf of the Bar either by the Advocate General or any other leader of the Bar.
“Whatever the Bar’s true opinion of the judge, the person who makes a reference to him at his retirement is bound to use sweet and sonorous words finding in His Lordship virtues and qualities which probably the Bar never had an occasion to experience during his tenure of office. The practice is also apt to lead to a division in the Bar, for occasionally there are differences of opinion on the merits and demerits of a judge among the practising members of the Bar,” Mr. Setalvad had said.
“Therefore, I request you to not to order for a farewell meeting followed by a high tea and photograph as well as dinner and presenting of a memento on the eve of my retirement,” Mr. Justice Chandru said in the letter, which was also addressed to all his companion judges in the High Court.
“I will be happy if March 8, 2013 passes off as any other day in this court”