high court of jammu and kashmir by lindash



                Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
                      Inaugural Session
                   Saturday, 29th July 2006

                                   - Hon’ble Mr. Justice Y. K. Sabharwal,
                                                    Chief Justice of India

      It is always a pleasure to come to this beautiful State of Jammu &

Kashmir, so very appropriately called “Heaven on this earth”.

Speaking from the stand point of judicial administration in the Secular,

Democratic Republic of India which is wedded to the principles of rule of

law and welfare State, and true to its position in the geographical map of our

beloved country, the State of Jammu & Kashmir can hold its head high and

rightfully claim a place of pride in Indian polity. The occasion of Diamond

Jubilee Celebration of an institution is an important landmark when those

engaged in its evolution can look back into the history with pride and firm

up their resolve for continuity of the venture with the same zeal and

commitment in the future. From this perspective, it is a momentous occasion

for Judiciary in Jammu & Kashmir.

      Though the court system here had its origin in 1873, the modern

judicial administration in this State traces its present history to the year 1928

when the full-fledged High Court of Judicature was established by the then

ruler, under the stewardship of Lala Kanwar Sain appointed as the first Chief

Justice. The year 1954 saw assimilation of the justice delivery system of

Jammu & Kashmir with that of the rest of India, through Constitution

Application Order which extended the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to

this region and also, and more importantly, vested in the State High Court,

for the first time, the jurisdiction and power to issue writs for enforcement of

the fundamental rights.

      As a result of the quest for justice, in which lawyers and judges have

been equal partners, you have been following rich traditions of judicial

propriety, dignity and decorum. Your endeavours have produced illustrious

legal professionals, who have risen to positions of eminence in Bar and some

of whom were elevated to the Bench in due course. The State judiciary has

been true to the task that was assigned to it as part of the overall scheme of

good governance. In your unstinted efforts as guardian angels of the rule of

law and protectors of fundamental rights and in ensuring that justice is not

denied even to the poorest of the poor, the judicial administration has been

ably assisted by illustrious members of the Bar of Jammu & Kashmir.

      Diamond Jubilee is indeed an occasion to look back and fondly

remember all the great Judges who trace their roots here or have served the

cause of justice from the bench of this High Court and all the great lawyers

who contributed in the dispensation of justice.         The list of judges and

lawyers who immensely contributed either during nascent years or later and

left their distinct mark of excellence is so big that for paucity of time it is not

possible to name them. My salutes to all of them. The present Acting Chief

Justice, Justice Bashir Ahmed Khan, after extensive experience at the Bar,

started his judicial innings from this High Court and after stints in High

Courts of Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, where I had the privilege and pleasure

of working with him is again here to serve this Court.

      The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir has proved to be a treasure-

trove of talent for Supreme Court of India. Two names immediately come to

my mind who always shine as bright stars in the legal azimuth are of

Hon‟ble Mr. Justice S. Murtaza Fazl Ali and Hon‟ble Dr. Justice Adarsh

Sein Anand, both a radiant figure and both endowed with wide knowledge of

law and allied fields of learning. Legal fraternity everywhere, particularly in

India, would always remain beholden to Jammu and Kashmir for these great

gifts that this State gave to the apex court, a position from which they were

able to put to full use their legal acumen so as to add to the richness of law

strengthening, in the process, the foundations, traditions and independence

of the judicial institution in this country.

       Justice Syed Murtaza Fazl Ali would always be remembered as

champion of fundamental rights and rule of law, two basic tenets on which

our constitutional scheme is founded. As co-author of land mark judgments

of cases known as Maneka Gandhi, V.C. Shukla,Nergesh Meerza and

S.P. Gupta, dealing with personal liberty, right to equality, right against

hostile discrimination and appointments & transfer of High Court Judges, he

left an indelible mark on the administration of justice.

       The name of Hon‟ble Dr. Justice Adarsh Sein Anand stands out as the

tallest of the tall amongst the galaxy of legal luminaries produced by Jammu

& Kashmir. He was called to the bar in 1964 by the society of Inner Temple,

London and showed great promise as a legal practitioner at a very young

age. This earned him the distinction of being appointed as a judge of Jammu

& Kashmir High Court at the age of 38 years. He rose to be the Chief

Justice of this High Court and was later transferred as Chief Justice of the

High Court of Madras. He was elevated to the Bench in the Supreme Court

of India in 1991 and became the Chief Justice of India in October 1998,

from which position he retired on 1st November 2001. His long and

illustrious career as a Judge will go down in Indian history in golden letters.

He is a person of high intellect and extensive knowledge. His jurisprudential

acumen covers almost the entire spectrum of different branches of law. His

judgments have covered such varied topics as would include the

Constitutional law, administrative law, service jurisprudence, taxation,

consumer protection, personal law, criminal law, election laws, rent

restriction laws, environmental protection & pollution control, judicial

reforms, land reforms, prison reforms, anti-corruption legislation, anti-

terrorism legislation, preventive detention, penology, torts. Perhaps the list

of the areas in which he has made foray can never be fully compiled. His

judgments in a series of cases known as MC Mehta have resulted in

evolution of law concerning environmental protection.         If the cases of

Nilabeti Behera, R.D. Upadhya, D.K. Basu and Indian Council of Legal

Aid and Advice reflect his deep solicitude for human rights of under-trial

prisoners, the cases known as Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangthan

and Sakshi demonstrated his conviction about the duty of the State to come

in aid and to the rescue of victims of environmental disaster and cases of

sexual abuse.    The judgments in the cases of Dhananjoy Chatterjee,

dealing with Penology concerning the extreme penalty of death; Rajbir,

involving anti-terrorism law; case of P.V. Narsimha Rao dealing with anti-

corruption measures in relation to import of the expression „Public Servant‟

vis-a-vis member of legislature and sanction for their prosecution are bound

to guide for decades the criminal justice administration in our country.

These cases are just a few examples of his abiding interest in the

development & growth of criminal law in India.             The cases of S.R.

Chaudhury and Charan Lal Sahu will have eternal value for the students

of law concerning electoral processes.

      Hon‟ble Dr. Justice A.S. Anand is a champion of human rights. After

he demitted the office of Chief Justice, it is his profound patronage of the

connected issues that impelled him to accept the position of Chairperson of

the National Human Rights Commission, thus enhancing the status of

Human Rights not only at national level but also at international level. His

contributions in that position are just another feather in the cap of this great

man of simple habits. He is a man of letters who has authored a number of

books on a variety of subjects. His book titled „Justice for Women‟ gives an

insight into the tender heart that beats within. Not merely the State of

Jammu & Kashmir, it is India as a whole that is proud of this living legend

whose work and contribution would always be the motivational force for the

future generations.

      Over the last about decade and a half you have been passing through

times of trials and tribulations in which balance had to be struck between

concerns of national security on one hand and the individual liberties on the

other. The State judiciary, and as always, I include the subordinate judiciary

in this, has acquitted itself well in these trying circumstances and has

dispensed justice without fear or favour, in a truly dispassionate non-partisan

manner.    My esteemed colleague Brother Hon‟ble Justice H.K. Sema has

fond memories of his tenure as the Chief Justice of this High Court during

2001-02. He sums up the position of this High Court beautifully by calling

it “a beacon of faith and hope for the people of the

State in testing and turbulent times.” The piety of the site

of this High Court, where the last remains of Mahatma Gandhi were once

kept for public homage has been generally preserved through “unpolluted

justice”, vindicating the hope expressed by late Sheikh Mohammad

Abdullah at the time of laying of foundation stone in 1978 and appeal made

by him to the legal fraternity to follow the ideals of the father of Nation and

remain “sensitive” to the rights of the citizens and protect them. The need

for it is greater today.

       I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir in general and the

State judiciary in particular for the commendable task performed in the

cause of justice.

       We are privileged to have amidst us today, His Excellency the

President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. We are eager to hear his words of

wisdom and guidance for shaping up a Vision Document for the future role

of judiciary in India.


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