New Delhi : Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Tuesday said for a judge, one must be steadfast in holding on to their principles and fearless in their decisions and on bench, a judge cannot defend himself against even motivated attacks, but a retired judge is free to defend himself, when the need arises.
In his remarks at the virtual farewell organised for retiring colleague, Justice R. Subhash Reddy, by the Supreme Court Bar Association, he said: “There are many qualities that a person needs to have to lead a good life: humility, patience, kindness and a strong work ethic. Most importantly, particularly for a judge, one must be steadfast in holding on to their principles and fearless in their decisions.”
“Our values are our greatest wealth, and we must never forget the same,” he said.
“Justice Reddy‘s journey is a testament to his values. His life and journey will continue to inspire many young lawyers,” he added.
Chief Justice Ramana said retirement is just like freedom regained, particularly for a judge. “He is free from all the restrictions that come with the office. He can express his views on all issues freely and frankly. When on the Bench, a judge cannot defend himself against even motivated attacks. A retired judge is free to defend himself, when the need arises.”
He said Justice Reddy always upheld and protected the people’s liberties through his judgements, and valued the fundamental rights of all citizens of this country. “He has taken up several death penalty cases, and he would spend an immense amount of time on them to ensure that the person gets a fair chance at justice even at the last stage,” he added.
The CJI added that Justice Reddy is known for his compassion and consciousness about social realities. “The paramount standards of his ethical conduct and beliefs are all reflected in his fine and well-crafted judgments. People with genuine causes would never go empty-handed from his court,” he said.
Justice Reddy also showed a resolute and dedicated commitment on the administrative side of the Supreme Court while serving as a member of the Supreme Court Judges’ Committee constituted for ensuring speedy disposal of rape cases across the country, he noted.
The Chief Justice said: “Justice Reddy has a deep interest in philosophy, culture, music and education. He readily endeared himself to all his peers through his simplicity and sincerity.”
Justice Reddy practiced for 22 years at tribunals, civil courts, the Andhra Pradesh High Court and also before the Supreme Court in civil, criminal, constitutional, revenue, taxation, labour, company and service matters in both original and appellate side.
He was appointed as an additional judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, his parent high court, on December 2, 2002, and sworn in as a permanent judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on June 24, 2004. Justice Reddy was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of India on November 2, 2018.