Justice Arijit Pasayat’s legacy

In the U.S., where the voluntary retirement of Supreme Court Judges is rare, Justice David Souter’s retirement at the age of 69 merits considerable discussion and debate about the Judge’s legacy. But not so in the Indian Supreme Court, where Judges retire every year. That was why after I wrote on the number of Judgments delivered by Justice Arijit Pasayat, who is retiring on May 9, I was surprised to find R.K.Raghavan’s article on Justice Pasayat in Frontline, calling him a Model Judge. Readers are sure to find Raghavan completely uncritical in his assessment of Justice Pasayat. Raghavan even defends Justice Pasayat’s ruling on Zaheera Sheikh for turning hostile in the Best Bakery case – which,according to Pratiksha Baxi, who guest blogs today, is indefensible. Some of the readers commenting on my previous post were critical of his rulings awarding death penalty; Raghavan, however, sees it as his merit. Despite our disagreements with him on Justice Pasayat, his article is worth reading, for Raghavan, as the chief of the Special Investigation Team probing the Gujarat massacres, has enjoyed Justice Pasayat’s confidence and trust during the hearing of the Gujarat carnage case.

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