Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra on Wednesday bid farewell to the bar and the bench, saying he dealt cases with "conscience" and took every decision with "conviction". Sharing the ceremonial bench on his last day as an apex court judge with Chief Justice S A Bobde, Justice Mishra addressed the court through video conferencing and urged the legal fraternity to "analyse (his) every judgment but do not give them this colour or that colour."
"I have dealt with every case with my conscience and took every decision with conviction", he said.
The CJI, who incidentally shared the bench with Justice Mishra for the first and the last time in the top court, praised the retiring judge by terming him as a "beacon of light", "beacon of courage" and "beacon of fortitude" even in the face of all adversities. "Justice Mishra is leaving behind a legacy of hard work, erudition, great courage and fortitude", the CJI said.
Justice Bobde said "I wish you Justice Mishra a very happy joyous and prosperous life ahead and I hope you remain in touch with us and we certainly endeavour to do that," Justice Bobde said and added that he was privileged to have a worked with Justice Mishra,. "I don't know many people who have carried out work so bravely despite so many difficulties," the CJI said.
The last day of Justice Mishra, who delivered many key judgements including the AGR dues case granting 10 years time to telcos and the imposition of one rupees fine on lawyer Prashant Bhushan for contempt of court, has had the share of controversy as well. Senior advocate and SCBA president Dushyant Dave took objection after being allegedly deprived of an opportunity to speak at the virtual farewell ceremony of Justice Arun Mishra and shot off a letter expressing disappointment to the CJI.
The moment the hearings in the cases finished, Attorney General K K Venugopal wished Justice Mishra a happy post retirement life and rued that due to the COVID-19 pandemic the farewell has to be done through video conferencing. Lawyers including former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi also wished Justice Mishra who thanked them and colleague judges by saying that he always tried to borrow the "weapon of power given" from Bar and fellow judges.
"All of you were the power behind whatever I have done. Have learnt so much from the members of the Bar…So many branches of law I have learnt from the Bar members," he said. He said, "sometimes I have been very harsh in my conduct directly or indirectly. Nobody should feel hurt… If I have hurt anybody then please pardon me, pardon me, pardon me." He also referred to the contempt case against Prashant Bhushan and said that Venugopal said that he did not want any punishment.
Venugopal described Mishra as "the iron judge" and said, "We will miss him in Supreme Court and we wish him good health." Shivaji Jadhav, President of Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) read out the brief outline of Justice Mishra's career especially his judicial career. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and few other bar leaders also attended it.
Earlier on August 30, Justice Mishra had declined farewell invitations of bar bodies – the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Confederation of Indian Bar – citing "severe situation and sufferings the world over" on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. Justice Mishra had become an apex court judge on July 7, 2014.