Saturday, July 20, 2013


This speech was delivered on 11.7.2013 in the farewell function of justice Ghulam Minhajuddin on his retirement. 
Justice Minhajuddin in Bar vs Bench festival match

My brothers, members of the Bar and Registry, ladies and gentlemen,

Jai Johar, Namaste, and a very good afternoon to all of you.

A reference—be it a welcome (ovation) or a condolence, or a farewell as the present one—is part of court's culture. It was earlier there in this court but was already stopped, when I joined here.  It was started again as it is a good tradition.  It is a step towards healthy Bar and Bench relationship. 

Nonetheless, TS Elliot said,
'A tradition without intelligence is not worth having. '
Mark Twain  is to the point when he observed,
'Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it. '
And Aristotle rightly pointed out that-
'All persons ought to endeavour to follow what is right, and not what is established. '

Adherence to traditions without reason,  just because they are  established—is improper.  We must not make 'the role of history more important than it is'1.  What may be reasonable at some time should not generate that is unreasonable.

With mounting arrears, holding reference at the later rather earlier part of the day, is a better idea: the work does not suffer and reference is also held. And we have assembled here to do the same—to bid farewell to Brother Justice Ghulam Minhajuddin, who is demitting office today as a Judge of this High Court. 

Born on 12th July, 1951, Brother Minhajuddin joined the Madhya Pradesh Judicial Service on 16.10.1981 and became a member of Higher Judicial Service on 6.6.1994.  He was Legal Advisor to the Governor of Chhattisgarh during 2004-2005.  He worked as Director of the Judicial Officers Training Institute, Bilaspur for more than four years from February 2007 till his elevation as Judge of Chhattisgarh High Court on 10th May, 2011. 

Unfortunately, I had the privilege of sitting with Brother Minhajuddin only for a day. But even in such a short time, I realised that he is a man of loving nature, cool temperament and soft-spoken. He not only possesses vast knowledge of law subjects but also of subjects of general importance. 

He was a keen sportsman and had represented the University of Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur in All India Inter Varsity (East Zone) Cricket Tournament. His team reached semi finals of the tournament. 

On behalf of my Brother judges and myself, I extend good wishes to Brother Minhajuddin and Madam Minhajuddin and wish them a happy as well as healthy life. 
Jai Hind. 

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