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Governor administers oath of office to Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee

Tamil Nadu is my State and I am a servant of the State from now on, says the CJ in reply to welcome address

January 05, 2021 01:17 am | Updated 03:44 am IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit handing over the Chief Justice of Madras High Court appointment order to Sanjib Banerjee at a fucntion held at Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Monday.

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit handing over the Chief Justice of Madras High Court appointment order to Sanjib Banerjee at a fucntion held at Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Monday.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Monday administered the oath of office to Madras High Court’s 42nd Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee at the Raj Bhavan and handed over a warrant of appointment issued by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, judges of the Madras High Court, top bureaucrats, police officers and court officials attended the swearing in ceremony held at the Darbar Hall.

It was followed by a welcome address by Advocate General Vijay Narayan at the High Court. Introducing the Chief Justice to the Bar, the A-G said that he comes from Kolkata which houses the oldest chartered High Court in the country.

The Calcutta High Court was established on July 1, 1862, followed by the Bombay High Court on August 14, 1862, and the Madras High Court on August 15, 1862.

“In the 158 years of its existence, Madras High Court has had 41 Chief Justices and Chief Justice Banerjee is the 42nd,” he said. Stating the Chief Justice had an extensive practice in civil, company arbitration and constitutional matters before being elevated as a judge of the Calcutta High Court in June 2006, the A-G said his judgments reflect a strong sense of social justice and deep constitutional values.

On criminal cases

Hearing a case related to a missing girl, a Bench led by the Chief Justice had observed: “Criminal cases suffer because of lack of adequate investigation and lack of adequate material being produced. Though maintaining law and order was an important part of police duty, the investigating arm cannot be compromised.”

The A-G also recalled the Chief Justice to have banned bursting of firecrackers during Kali Puja, Deepavali, Chhat Puja, Jagadhatri Puja and Guru Nanak birth anniversary celebrations in West Bengal “for the greater good of the citizens” and in larger public interest.

In his reply, the Chief Justice expressed happiness over having shifted from a State with a long legacy of intellectual curiosity to a State of equally ancient wisdom. “Tamil Nadu is my State and I am a servant of the State from now on,” he told the gathering.

Later in the day, he presided over the first Division Bench of the High Court, along with Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy and heard a number of public interest litigation petitions.

When a senior counsel urged the court to make certain observations in the court order and said that the words of the Chief Justice carry more weight among bureaucrats, the CJ replied: “I request you, with folded hands, not to make any distinction between the Chief Justice and the High Court. The Chief Justice is one of the servants.”

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