"Asked To Be Careful Before Moving To Delhi, But...": Outgoing Chief Justice NV Ramana

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana Thursday said the Supreme Court collegium successfully appointed almost 224 judges in several high courts during his tenure and has cleared almost all names concerning the Delhi High Court and hoped that these recommendations would be cleared by the Centre as well.

Justice Ramana, who will retire from office on August 26 upon attaining the age of superannuation, said that he took up the issues concerning the appointment of judges and infrastructure during his term and hoped that he stood up to the expectations of the legal fraternity.

"I hope that I stood up to the expectation which you expected from me. I discharged my duties as Chief Justice in whatever possible way. I have taken up two issues, all of you know, the infrastructure and the appointment of judges. Thanks to the support given by my brother and sister judges in Supreme Court and Collegium, we successfully appointed almost 224 judges in high courts," shared the outgoing CJI while speaking at an event organised by the Delhi High Court Bar Association to bid him farewell.

Speaking on the appointment of Delhi High Court judges, Justice Ramana -– who acted as its Chief Justice from September 2013 to February 2014, said there was a "lot of persuasion" from Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and added, "I think now almost everything we cleared except one or two names. I hope the government will clear those names also".

The event was attended by Supreme Court Judges Justices Kaul, Indira Banerjee, Sanjiv Khanna, S Ravindra Bhat, and Hima Kohli – all former judges of the Delhi High Court -- as well as the judges of the high court along with members of the Bar.

"We are six people representing Delhi in the Supreme Court. Even though I am retiring, there are five representatives from Delhi. I hope some more representatives will join shortly," the CJI said.

He stated that the Delhi High Court with its "peculiar features and specialities" and its "amount of litigation" cannot be compared with any other high court and his tenure as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court was his "launch pad" for becoming a successful CJI.

Appreciating the hard work of Delhi High Court judges, he added, "The judges used to work hard till night 7-8 o'clock in the chamber. They come in the morning (and) they used to work up to night 8'o clock – 9'o clock sometimes. I was surprised. Normally, at other places, the judges will go by 4 o'clock." He said that during his days there, although there were certain "chronic public interest litigants", the lawyers were "disciplined".

"I never had any occasion to face any strike or some dharna or anything. This is the biggest achievement because they first warned me that you're going to Delhi, you must prepare for dharna and strikes. That never happened," the CJI said.

He added that he was "asked to be careful" before moving to Delhi as he was told that "people there are very cultured, knowledgeable, and, very sorry to say, aggressive" but he received affection and encouragement from all.

In his address, Justice Ramana said that during his "days of turmoil" a couple of years ago, every member of the Bar, particularly Delhi, stood by him expressing solidarity and passed resolutions to support him and they were his "real well-wishers".

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