I have a lot of enemies, people tried to negatively affect my career… transfers to rattle me: Madhya Pradesh HC Chief Justice in farewell speech

English | 28 May, 2024 | 03:11 PM
સાંજ સમાચાર

Former Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Ravi Malimath, in his farewell speech, said that he served the Constitution instead of the “congregation”, and came down heavily on those who tried to “influence the workings of this court”.

The various transfers that he has had in his career “were expected to rattle me, but they did not”, he said in the May 24 speech.

Before being appointed the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh HC in October 2021, Justice Malimath was the acting Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court from July 2021 to October 2021. He had also served as the acting Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court from July 2020 to January 2021. He was enrolled as an advocate in January 1987 in Bengaluru, and practised in constitutional, civil, criminal, labour and service matters, mainly at the Karnataka High Court.

“You always have a choice – do you serve the Constitution or do you serve the congregation? Serving the Constitution takes you nowhere on a personal level, apart from giving you the satisfaction of having done the right thing. Serving the congregation, on the other hand, can get you to places,” he said.

“I was transferred from Karnataka to Uttarakhand to be made the Chief Justice there, but I was not. I was then transferred from Uttarakhand to Himachal Pradesh to be made the Chief Justice there. I was not. Then I was finally elevated as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh. These transfers were expected to rattle me, but they did not. I did the opposite – I made long-lasting contributions in each of these places, including during my short four-five month stint as the acting Chief Justice of Uttarakhand as well as Himachal Pradesh. I’ve served the land of the Vindhyas, Himachal, Yamuna, and Ganga. I have truly served India, and I’m blessed for that opportunity,” Malimath said.

He also said that “there were people who spent months and years trying to negatively affect my career”.

“They have failed miserably because I have undertaken what no other Chief Justice or judge in the country has been able to undertake. They will never be able to rival my accomplishments, no matter how hard they try. I advise them to now focus more on their lives instead of mine. I can say a lot at this juncture, I can give names and make this the centre of attention for the tabloids. I am sure my detractors are also worried and watching with a lot of trepidation about what I may say at my farewell. However, the morally bankrupt, unscrupulous and degenerate are not worth discussing. They are certainly not worth my time,” he said.

“During my tenure, multiple people have tried to influence the workings of this court. I have kept each and every single one of them away, only and only for the sake of the institution. Given a choice, I will do it again and again and again. I like to recount a poem by Charles Mackay at this juncture: ‘You have no enemies, you say? Alas, my friend, the boast is poor. He who has mingled in the fray of duty that the brave endure, must have made foes. If you have none, small is the work that you have done. You’ve hit no traitor on the hip. You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip. You’ve never turned the wrong to right. You’ve been a coward in the fight,’” Malimath said, adding, “So I have a lot of enemies, and I am proud of that.”

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