Having completed little more than a year as the 45th Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra retired on 2nd October 2018. Justice Misra had taken charge as CJI on 28th August 2017.
At the farewell ceremony organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association the outgoing Chief Justice of India addressed his judicial career as “fully satisfied and contented”. He acknowledged Indian Judiciary as most robust institution in the world. He defined Indian Judiciary as the strongest judiciary in the world which has been working tediously towards the overall development and protection of rights of citizens. The CJI who is demitting office requested the judicial members by to adjudicate the issues which has travelled to the corridor of court of law by being guided by Constitutional provisions and not by public perception. The inseparable feature of Indian Constitution with regard to independence of Judiciary was also appreciated by him. The CJI also brought forth the basic attribute of a judge when he made a humble observation that Courage is an integral part of Judgeship as the Judges must have the courage to decide and deliver Judgments without being affected by the public opinion, emotions and media trail. The CJI expressed his profound gratefulness to the members of the bar as according to him it is the bar who brings the ground reality in front of bench and acknowledging this he declared utmost respect to the members of bar from the corner of his heart. The Chief Justice Designate Justice Ranjan Gogoi assured the outgoing CJI Justice Dipak Misra that as from time immemorial the justice delivery system has emerged victorious even in the toughest terrain of democracy, the same will be always preserved as the commitment of judges to the constitution will always be indispensable part of Justice delivery system.
Few of CJI Commendable Contributions:
- Two death sentences were upheld by benches lead by CJI Dipak Misra. The hanging of Yakub Abdul Razak Menon in 1993 Mumbai Serial Blast case was execute during his tenure.
- The bench led by him reaffirmed the death sentence being afflicted on the four convicts who brutally assaulted Nirbhaya, when the four convicts filed a review petition against the death sentence.
- In a PIL filed by Rishi Malhotra the bench led by CJI urged the parliament to suggest some other method by which a convict who according to law has to face death sentence can die without pain as the PIL termed the practice of to be hanged by neck till he or she is dead as traumatic way and against the right to die with dignity.
- A bench led by him introduced the concept of drafting of “living will” by individuals and giving wheels to the concept of passive euthanasia.
- The act of mob lynching was criticized under his leadership and parliament was requested to come up with a law to curb this inhuman practice.
- The verdicts of decriminalizing homosexuality (Section 377 of IPC) and adultery (Section 497 of IPC) can be seen as precedents which bestowed individual autonomy.
- The progressive precedent which has thrown open the Sabarimala Temple to all women of all age groups was decided by bench led by the CJI.
- The much awaited Aadhar Judgement authored by Justice AK Sikri has concurrence of CJI and Justice AM Khanwilkar wherein the constitutional validity of Aadhar was upheld but certain provisions like linking with bank account, mobile phone and school admissions was struck down.
With the above stated historic judgments and precedents the outgoing CJI Justice Dipak Misra will always be remembered as a judicial personality who has always given the due importance to principles envisaged in the Constitution and has devised the mechanism for social welfare through progressive verdicts as per the need and requirement of the society, within the permissible legal framework.