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On last working day, CJI spent 4 mins in Courtroom 1

Earlier on Friday, the Chief Justice’s office issued a statement on numerous requests from various media houses for personal interview, where he expressed his regret.

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Ranjan Gogoi Chief Justice SA Bobde

New Delhi, Nov 15 : On his last working day, outgoing Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Friday spent nearly four minutes in Court No.1 of the Supreme Court.

Justice Gogoi, who retires on November 17, presided over the bench with Chief Justice-designate S.A. Bobde.

Meanwhile, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Sanjiv Khanna expressed gratitude to the CJI on behalf of the lawyers’ association.

The Chief Justice took office in October 2018. According to the official schedule, he visited Raj Ghat to pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi. After taking oath of office, he had also visited the memorial last year.

His agenda on the last day in office included a video conference with High Court judges and nearly 15,000 judicial officers in various parts of the country.

Earlier on Friday, the Chief Justice’s office issued a statement on numerous requests from various media houses for personal interview, where he expressed his regret.

Turning down the media request, the Chief Justice said, “As a public functionary entrusted with onerous constitutional duties to discharge, the idea of courting the press never endeared itself as a choice in the interest of my institution. I chose to belong to an institution whose strength lay in public confidence and trust earned not through good press but through our good work…it is not the requirement of our institution for judges to reach out to our citizenry through the press — rather such outreach ought to be symbolic of an extraordinary situation demanding an exception to the norm.”

The SCBA in the evening organized a farewell for the Chief Justice, which was a low-key affair without any customary speeches. All the judges of the apex court, including Chief Justice-designate S.A. Bobde, were present during the function where the outgoing Chief Justice was felicitated by members of the lawyers’ body.

The SCBA said the Chief Justice avoided making any speech at the function. SCBA president Rakesh Khanna said Justice Gogoi has been one of the finest judges.

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Petitions against Hyderabad encounter filed in SC

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The Supreme Court of India
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New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) Two petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court seeking registration of an FIR and compensation to the families of the four accused killed in an ‘encounter’ in the case of the rape and murder of a 25-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad.

Petitioner G.S. Mani sought directions for the registration of an FIR and then an investigation by the CBI, SIT, CID or a team of police officials from another state into the ‘encounter’.

The petition urged the apex court that an independent investigation agency must be directed in accordance with the guidelines laid down in connection with investigation (the PUCL vs State of Maharashtra) in fake encounter killing.

The petition alleged that it was a stage-managed encounter to cover up the alleged lapses of the police, which led to the commission of the gruesome crime of rape and murder.

In another petition, advocate Manohar Lal Sharma said that the killing of 4 arrested persons in police custody was allegedly done due to the demands of political leaders, and the media raising a hue and cry seeking the immediate execution of the accused without a trial “which is a serious violation of Article 21 as well as murder of innocent citizens of India”.

“It’s a serious injury to the constitutional systems and endanger further life & liberty to the citizen of India,” said Sharma in the petition.

Seeking compensation for the families of the accused, Sharma said the apex court should pass a direction to give a compensation of Rs 20 lakhs to the family members of each accused killed in police custody in the interest of justice.

“Appointment of an SIT, consisting retired Supreme Court judges, to conduct investigation with the help of CBI under the regular supervision of this court, and to file their report before this court for further action and prosecution of all involved police personnel, leaders and media channels in accordance of law in the interest of justice,” contended Sharma in his petition.

He also urged the apex court to issue a proper order prohibiting the media and leaders from conducting a media trial or making any statement during the pendency of a trial for rape, murder and crime against anyone including women until the trial is concluded.

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Rape convict writes to President

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New Delhi, Dec 7-The 2012 gang rape case convict Vinay Sharma has written to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking withdrawal of his mercy petition.

Sharma through his counsel A.P. Singh wrote to the President on Saturday requesting him that he be allowed to withdraw the mercy petition, claiming that the mercy plea sent to the President by the Ministry of Home Affairs was not signed by him. Singh alleged there was a conspiracy as he has not yet filed a curative petition.

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Justice loses its character if it becomes revenge: CJI Bobde

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Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde

Jodhpur, Dec 7– Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde said on Saturday that justice can never become instant, and it loses its character if it becomes revenge.

The Chief Justice’s remarks gain significance in the backdrop of “encounter” killings of four persons accused of rape-murder of a veterinarian by Telangana police. The police have faced criticism from various sections, although people at large have hailed the “punishment”.

While inaugurating a new building of the Rajasthan High Court, the Chief Justice said, “Recent events in the country have sparked an old debate with new vigour. There is no doubt that criminal justice system must reconsider its position, reconsider its attitude towards time, towards laxity and towards the eventual time it takes to dispose of a criminal matter.

“But I don’t think justice can ever be, and ought to be, instant. Justice must never take the form of revenge. I believe justice loses its character of justice if it becomes revenge.”

The CJI said, “There is a need in the judiciary to invoke self-correcting measures, whether those measures should be publicised can be a matter of debate. But I believe the institution must correct itself as indeed it did during the much-criticised press conference (in 2018)”.

The CJI was apparently referring to a press conference by four senior judges of the Supreme Court in January 2018, accusing then CJI Dipak Misra of violating conventions and allowing the executive to interfere in court affairs. All the four judges have since retired.

“We have to device methods for speeding up litigation. There are laws which provide for free litigation mediation and I take this opportunity to say why we should not have compulsory free litigation mediation across all district courts.

“Surprisingly no courses are available for conferring a degree or diploma in mediation. We have taken the initiative and have asked the Bar Council of India to work on this,” he said.

Bobde said he envisages utilisation of Artificial Intelligence to improve the efficiency of justice administration system.

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