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Blessed to have served in the Supreme Court, says Justice Indu Malhotra

"My thanks to all, I think I have been very blessed to serve on the bench of the Supreme Court and was a part to have contributed to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court," said Justice Malhotra.

Justice Indu Malhotra, who will retire on March 13, Saturday, said she was blessed to serve in the Supreme Court and to have contributed to the Court’s jurisdiction.

On Friday, Justice Malhotra shared the ceremonial bench with Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde and Justice A.S. Bopanna. This is part of the tradition followed in the Supreme Court, where a judge demitting office shares the bench with the Chief Justice of India on her/his last day in office.

“My thanks to all, I think I have been very blessed to serve on the bench of the Supreme Court and was a part to have contributed to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court,” said Justice Malhotra, who is retiring on March 13 after completing her three-year tenure as a Supreme Court judge.

Speaking before her, Chief Justice Bobde said, “I am delighted to get this opportunity to share few words with you all. I have seen Justice Indu Malhotra appearing before me when she was a lawyer. She would not stop the argument. I asked my colleague why didn’t she stop arguing. I was told she prepares so well, she cannot resist to argue everything about the case. I have read her some important judgments.

“I would like to share a personal instance. I have a daughter who is a lawyer and who appeared with Justice Indu Malhotra. She had once said something which was peculiar. Later, when I was talking to Indu Malhotra, I heard the same thought my daughter was talking of. That was the sign of a great role model.

“Her judgments are filled with knowledge, sagacity and firmness. I have nothing to say on her judicial acumen. Sister, May you have the best possible in the future. I don’t think she is coming back to the Bar, she will stay with us. Wish you all the best. Thank you very much, Justice Indu Malhotra, I can understand the feelings of the last day,” the CJI said.

As is practice, the retiring judge gets to speak after the Chief Justice, before whom an array of advocates speak of the judge.  

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said, “I think she (Justice Malhotra) is one of the best judges. It’s very unfortunate judges have to retire at the age of 65, they should complete 70 years with their years of experience.”

Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh said,

“I totally agree with AG that judges should retire at the age of 70. There should be another woman member to replace Justice Malhotra. She is an icon for us, for young member of the bar, women members of the bar. Her speaking to the bar is a kind of motivation for women lawyers.”

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi said, “I think she is too young to retire. I welcome Justice Malhotra to the bar…which will be a more prosperous chapter then the current chapter.”

Supreme Court Advocates-on-record Association president Shivaji Jadhav said, “This is a great loss to the bench. She is sincere, hard working, she has delivered many leading judgments. I pray for a very peaceful and happy journey ahead.”

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Senior Advocate P.S. Narasimha said, “As an individual, she is an excellent lawyer in the bar. We will be inviting her to the bar to have a cup of tea with her.”

Advocate Gopal Sankarnarayan said she is truly an icon for woman lawyers.

On Wednesday, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, sitting in a Special Bench with Justice Malhotra for the last time, said, “I will miss sitting with you sister Indu. I really enjoyed it. You are an icon.”  Justice Indu Malhotra responded, “I will miss sitting with you too.”

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