Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Not a Judge’s job to make everyone happy: Justice Hemant Gupta

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Supreme Court judge, Justice Hemant Gupta on Friday said that it was not the role of a judge to make people happy.

Addressing the farewell function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in his honour, Justice Gupta said a Judge cannot discharge his duty by pleasing people. 
He said he may have been  harsh and blunt in the courtroom, but whatever orders were warranted, they were passed as per his understanding. 

As per Justice Gupta, he gave his best to the institution and was happy to have gained inner satisfaction without any regrets.

Speaking about his impending retirement on October 16, Justice Gupta said he was quite relaxed as now, he will not have any files to read or any judgements to dictate. He said that he was satisfied for having performed to best of his abilities, without fear or favour, any role that was assigned to him.

Justice Gupta said he tried his  best to discharge his duties with utmost humility and sincerity, though sometimes, he lost his cool. 

The Supreme Court Judge said no one was perfect, adding that he cannot stake any claim to perfection. He further said that in his shortcomings, when he erred, it has been unintentional.

The SCBA function saw a galaxy of distinguished guests making their presence felt during the event, including  Attorney General R. Venkataramani, President of SCBA and Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, abd Senior Advocate and Vice-President of SCBA Pradeep Rai, among others.

Rai said on the occasion that Justice Hemant Gupta was the son of Jitendra Vir Gupta, who was arrested in 1992 when RSS was banned because he was the chief of RSS.

He added that when the ban was later lifted, the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed the FIR. 

Rai said Justice Hemant Gupta has been a fearless judge. He may have opinions which many may not agree with, but he speaks what he believes in, noted the SCBA VP.

Attorney General for India R. Venkataramani said that it was not possible to bid farewell to any judge at any point of time.

As per Venkataramani, the moments of a Judge were cherished, as they entered the profession with great expectations from everyone, including the bar and the bench.

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh said when Justice Gupta started as lawyer, he did not have a place to practice. His  father had been elevated and was living in an official bungalow, so Justice Gupta got a small place in his family home. 
Singh revealed that Justice Gupta has been a part of 35 benches and authored 190 judgements.

Chief Justice U.U. Lalit said he remembered meeting Justice Gupta for the first time around 12 years ago in Punjab and Haryana High Court, when Justice Gupta was a Judge, while the CJI was appearing as a lawyer in a case related to service jurisprudence.
As per the CJI, he thought he had mastered everything and was more than ready. Justice Lalit said he thought how could a judge who had 70 odd matters before him, have the expertise and will to go into every small detail. 
Justice Lalit said it was this quality, which made Justice Gupta a man having the capacity to go into everything presented before him, and  make the best out of it.

The CJI noted that grandfathers of both Justice Gupta and the CJI were lawyers. Both their fathers were judges. Their next generations were also lawyers, added the CJI.

He said Justice Gupta was far greater than any of the SC Judges, as he would write down any verdict in two weeks time. He added that 20 years of hard work meant a lot.

While remembering his innings at both the bar and the bench, Justice Gupta said he hoped to play a third inning, whose nature was still undecided.

The Supreme Court judge thanked his staff and his team of law clerks and also expressed his gratitude to his wife, family, friends and colleagues, both on bench and bar, for extending their full support to him.

Justice Gupta said whatever  matter came before him, whatever was the subject, he never shied away from deciding.

Justice Gupta recalled the ‘voluminous’ matter of Kandhar hijacking. He said the court room was full of records, but he decided to take it and heard for around 15 days.

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