Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has written to Justice Paresh Upadhyay of the Madras High Court in view of his retirement from service on Tuesday, and has said that his illustrious presence and effective administration of justice, ever since he was transferred here from the Gujarat High Court in September last year, had benefitted the litigant public of the State.
“Though your tenure as a Judge of the Madras High Court was only about 15 months, my people and my State have enormously benefitted from your rich, reasoned and remarkable judgements… I am sure that it is a great pride for us to have had you as a judge of this prestigious and historical Madras High Court,” the Chief Minister’s letter read.
In his farewell address, Advocate General (A-G) R. Shunmugasundaram told the gathering that every High Court Judge receives a ‘transfer allowance’ on being transferred from the parent High Court to any other High Court. However, Justice Paresh Upadhyay had returned his entire transfer allowance of around ₹3.15 lakh to the Government of Tamil Nadu.
“When I asked him about this, he casually replied that he always felt at home in Tamil Nadu,” the A-G said amidst thunderous applause. He also said that the Judge had endeared himself to the Madras Bar through his fraternal affection, judicial earnestness, moral standards and above all, by providing a fair and just courtroom experience.
Pointing out that Justice Upadhyay had enrolled as a lawyer only in January 1996 but was elevated as a Judge of the Gujarat High Court in November 2011 itself, Mr. Shunmugasundaram said, his elevation with just 15 years at the Bar, was enough to illustrate his impressive accomplishments during the short tenure.
‘T.N. welcomed me with open arms’
In his acceptance speech, Justice Upadhyay recalled that he started earning a livelihood for his family as a lower division clerk in a government office and ended up being a late entrant into the legal profession. He got enrolled with the Bar Council only at the age of 35.
“Theoretically, upholding law should lead to doing justice too but after more than a decade on the Bench, I can say that it may not be true always. As Judges, we are faced with situations where either the law will be upheld, or justice will be done. I had no confusion about my choice. I had tried to do justice with the aid of law whenever it was available, without it too whenever required and sometimes, even beyond it if that was the only option,” he said.
He went on to state: “While sitting on a high chair, it may sometimes escape our notice that the last man of our society is raising his hand for help. Whenever I saw some poor person lying flat on the ground, I have bended from my back to hold his hand. Even when I could not reach that poor man, I have not felt shy even to be on my knees and I am proud of it.”
He thanked the whole of the State of Tamil Nadu for welcoming him with open arms and taking care of him like a mother. “I am honored to be a part of this State and this prestigious High Court,” he said.
Acting Chief Justice T. Raja, other judges of the High Court, State Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohammed Jinnah and other law officers participated in the event.