The first Chief Justice of India who was born post-Independence, Sarosh Homi Kapadia, bid farewell to the judges, lawyers and staff of the top court on Friday leaving a piece of advice to remember.
“Remember the important medicine in times of trouble: Do what you are obligated to do. We need objectivity knowledge and professionalism,” the 38th CJI said at a function hosted by the Supreme Court Bar Association on the lawns of the top court.
Justice Kapadia counseled the judges in particular: “Do the right (thing) rest leave to God’’.
“We (judges) can’t change the world. If you do your duty and dispense justice, you have done your job,” Kapadia, who is a master in the art of constitutionalism and taxation legislations, said.
Risen to the top judicial post from the Bombay High Court bar, Kapadia’s dedication to work is evident from his narration that he kept working for 21 years without a single day of leave. “I was in Bombay and had fractured my arm. But I was in the courtroom the next day though some lawyers probably thought I was mad,” Kapadia recalled, but what he forgot to tell the gathering is that he had cancelled an official meeting (Commonwealth judges conference) abroad because it clashed with the court working days.
“My wife (Shahnaz) used to attend funerals on my behalf,” the judge, who takes pride in introducing himself as the son of a low-paid subordinate employee, sounded relieved at the end of his legal journey that started as a clerk in a lawyer’s office.
Beholden to his wife and family in particular and to the women at large, Justice Kapadia said only those countries that respect women have developed. Such countries “always come up. Only those countries that don’t respect their ladies suffer”.
But the CJI feels he had been “cruel”’ to his family for he didn’t take leave for last 21 years.
The judge, who is a devout follower of integrity and honesty, recalls that his father taught him the virtues. At time when my father would go to the canteen for electrical repairs and was offered goodies like cheese or chocolates, he would always decline them saying “he is paid for his work”.