In a speech before delivering the judgment striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) law, a visibly emotional Justice J.S. Khehar gave an insight into what the judges went through in the past two months to reach the verdict.
Thanking both the government and the Bar Association of India, oppfor helping them, Justice Khehar proceeded to speak of the mutual bonhomie shared with Justices J. Chelameswar, Madan Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A.K. Goel.
Speaking for the bench in a packed courtroom, Justice Khehar said "I was neither with those who supported the Collegium nor with those against the Collegium. I was neither with so-so nor was I with so-so. I was with everybody".
"Thank you all. I thank you. Without each one of you this would not have been possible. And this is no lip-service," Justice Khehar said to the lawyers, including senior advocates Fali Nariman and Anil Diwan for petitioners and Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar for the government.
At the conclusion of the pronouncement, Justice Khehar invited all to "help us decide for a better system and an improved working of the Collegium system" on November 3.
When the Solicitor General expressed some reluctance about the date of the hearing, Justice Khehar explained the court only wanted to take suggestions.
"You see the mind is a wonderful instrument. The variance of opinions when different minds and interests meet or collide is wonderful," Justice Khehar told the Solicitor-General with a smile.