Tamil Nadu

When the CJ broke protocol

Justice A. Selvam taking leave of his colleagues on his retirement.

Justice A. Selvam taking leave of his colleagues on his retirement.   | Photo Credit: Special_Arrangements

Banerjee walks to Justice Selvam’s chambers to bid him adieu on his last day in office

The judges, staff and lawyers of the Madras High Court on Wednesday bid a teary farewell to Justice A. Selvam on his retirement from service. He had shot to fame by striking the axe on the invasive Seemai Karuvelam (prosopis juliflora) trees in the State during his innings as the administrative judge of the High Court’s Madurai Bench last year.

Hailed by the Bar for his integrity, the senior judge refused to accept a formal farewell function followed by a dinner generally hosted by the High Court during retirement of its judges.

The judge handed over his official car keys to the Registry immediately after reaching the High Court on Wednesday morning and went home in the evening in his personal car.

He even avoided using the judges’ entrance to the High Court and chose to drive out of the court through the Madras Bar Association gate.

To take up farming

He also informed the Registry that he would vacate his official bungalow on Thursday morning and proceed towards his native place in Pudukottai district where he had planned to involve himself in farming.

In appreciation of his service to the High Court, Chief Justice Indira Banerjee broke the protocol and walked down to his chambers in the afternoon to bid goodbye. She spent about 30 minutes discussing various issues with him and he reciprocated the gesture by accompanying the Chief Justice on the way back to her chambers.

Many other judges of the High Court too met him in the chambers and wished him well before he left the court by 5 p.m. along with Justice P. Kalaiyarasan, his companion judge in the Division Bench which ordered removal of Seemai Karuvelam trees across the State and converted it into a people’s movement by mobilising funds.

“Ayya is known for not having taken even a single cup of coffee at State’s cost. He pays every penny from his pocket. He does not use air-conditioners at home as well as chambers. It is very hard to find a person like him. It was an emotional parting for us as we broke down while bidding goodbye to him,” one of his personal staff said. Born on April 5, 1956, Mr. Justice Selvam had enrolled as an advocate in 1981 and rose from the ranks in the district judiciary.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 10:09:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/when-the-cj-broke-protocol/article23438112.ece

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