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Justice Singhvi retires

Justice G.S. Singhvi.

Justice G.S. Singhvi.

Justice G.S. Singhvi, seniormost judge of the Supreme Court, retires on Wednesday after a successful tenure of six years and one month and leaving an indelible imprint as a bold and courageous judge.

He was appointed Supreme Court judge in November 2007. He has rendered several landmark judgments on various branches of law, in particular the 2G case, constitutional, human rights and land reforms.

Justice Singhvi was known for his impeccable honesty, integrity and simplicity. His frank views and comments became evident particularly during the hearing of the 2G spectrum case when he did not spare anyone including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja.

Justice Singhvi endeared himself to members of the Bar and the Bench with his smiling face and demeanour. He was judge of the Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana High Courts and Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court before being elevated.

He shot into the limelight when he ordered cancellation of 122 2G spectrum licences. He held that natural resources “are vested with the government as a matter of trust in the name of the people of India and it is the solemn duty of the state to protect the national interest. Natural resources must always be used in the interest of the country and not private interests.”

In April 2011, he passed an order that no court in the country would entertain any appeal in the 2G case, which would impede the progress of trial. He ordered day-to-day trial in the case. This order was reiterated in the November 9, 2012 judgment. Shahid Balwa and other accused questioned it contending that the apex court could not take away their rights to file an appeal in the High Court. However, Justice Singhvi said “the nation and the people are seriously concerned with the outcome of cases involving the larger public interest, like the one concerning 2G and this court, as the guardian of the Constitution, has got the duty and obligation to see that the larger public interest and the interest of the nation are preserved and protected. ”

His consideration for old parents was evident when he held that execution of a will by the father in favour of his son for taking care of him and his wife during their old age, excluding other sons or daughters, on the ground that they had neglected him during his last days will not draw an inference of suspicion or invalidate the will. He said the suspicion or doubt on a will could be raised if the will was executed in favour of the third party from outside and not in favour of the natural legal heirs.

Justice Singhvi decried mindless land acquisitions. He pulled up State governments for adopting a callous approach in dealing with acquisition of land of farmers and issuing notifications in violation of the procedure contemplated in the Land Acquisition Act.

He was very harsh on governments giving away land at throwaway prices to politicians. Justice Singhvi ordered a CBI probe into 14 issues relating to criminal dimensions arising out of the conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with industrialists and others.


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Printable version | May 24, 2022 4:46:02 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/justice-singhvi-retires/article5444932.ece