Justice A.S. Bopanna bids farewell to the Supreme Court

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On Friday (May 17, 2024), Justice A.S. Bopanna bid farewell to the Supreme Court (SC) of India. The SC organized a ceremonial bench in honor of Justice Bopanna on May 17, his last working day at the top court. Justice A.S. Bopanna retired after completing a tenure of 5 years and delivered more than 90 judgments in different areas including property, service, and civil law. While speaking at the farewell function, Justice Bopanna asked lawyers to “Carry a heart that never hates, carry a smile that never faints, carry a touch that never hurts.” Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, in his address, praised Justice Bopanna stating “In my view, Justice Bopanna is akin to Rahul Dravid – our very own Mr. Dependable of the Supreme Court. In my interactions with him, both on the bench and outside, I have been awestruck at his ability to maintain a balance between objectivity and empathy.” 

While giving a farewell speech, Justice Bopanna talked about his journey in the Supreme Court and said, “I remembered what Sachin Tendulkar had said when he was asked about his century of centuries. He said when I go in to bat the next time, in the next match, I have to again start from zero and the focus will be on that to build another innings and I cannot rest on the laurels of a century scored. It was a similar experience for me in the Supreme Court and each day was a new day and a learning experience.” Moreover, he quoted the Greek philosopher Socrates emphasizing four qualities expected of a judge, to hear courteously, to consider soberly, to answer wisely, and to decide impartially. 

Justice A.S. Bopanna enrolled as an advocate on November 21, 1984, and was appointed as an additional judge of the Karnataka High Court on January 06, 2006. Further, in 2007, he was appointed as a permanent judge of the Karnataka HC. After serving a period of 11 years, he was appointed as the Chief Justice of Gauhati HC in 2018. On May 24, 2019, Justice Bopanna was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court. Considering his valuable work, CJI on May 17 said, “Your career, marked by integrity and an authentic sense of justice, has earned you respect and admiration from the bar and bench alike. This reputation and goodwill not only give you much to live on but also serve as an enduring legacy of your contributions to our institution.”