In an unprecedented gesture, hundreds of women and farmers from the Andhra Pradesh capital region formed a human chain here to accord a touching farewell to Justice Rakesh Kumar of the state high court as he retired from service on Thursday. In a reverential namaskaram with folded hands, they chanted long live, long live as the judge began his return journey home from the court campus.
He was one of the judges who stayed the Jagan Mohan Reddy governments move to have three capitals for the state, an isssue over which locals had staged protests against shifting the capital from Amaravati. The Judge also had made several critical observations against the administration and pulled up the state Director General of Police over ‘failure’ to ensure rule of law.
As his official car reached the Seed Access Road, the women stopped him and presented shawls, flowers and mementos. You live in our hearts… You were our savior by upholding justice. May God give you a long life, they said.
The judge reciprocated the greetings and thanked them. Justice Rakesh Kumar, who hails from Bihar, served as a judge of the AP High Court for 18 months and was a part of benches that delivered several verdicts against state governments acts.
He was one of the judges who stayed the Jagan Mohan Reddy governments move to have three capitals for the state and made several critical observations against the administration. He has also pulled up the state Director General of Police over ‘failure’ to ensure rule of law.
The high court, with a view to protecting the rights of citizens has passed a number of orders setting aside incorrect or unsustainable orders passed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Justice Rakesh Kumar noted in an order. Just a day before his retirement, Justice Rakesh Kumar made certain observations over the transfer of the AP High Court Chief Justice J K Maheshwari.
“I am not raising any question on the transfer of Hon’ble chief justices… but, at the same time, I am constrained to observe that transfer of high court judges or its chief justices may reflect some transparency and for betterment or upliftment of the administration of justice,” Justice Rakesh Kumar noted. “After all, they are also holding Constitutional post like member of Hon’ble Supreme Court Collegium,” he had said in an order by a division bench which directed criminal prosecution against an IAS officer for perjury.