Sunday, March 10, 2013

Retired Justice Chandru returns by train

Retired Justice Chandru returns by train

People’s judge takes train home after last day at work

"Justice K Chandru is to the judiciary, what Donald Bradman is to cricket." This is what a young labour law specialist commented, reacting to the retirement of Madras high court's Justice Chandru, who disposed over 96,000 cases in less than seven years. At the end of his last day in office on Friday, Justice Chandru met acting Chief Justice R K Agrawal and submitted a copy of his 'voluntary declaration of assets'.

After returning to his chambers, he signed some papers brought by the court registry personnel, before slipping into a khadi kurta and dhoti and trekking down towards the press room, where he spent a few happy moments answering queries from journalists.

He then walked across NSC Bose Road to join a group of his old friends, waiting at Sangeetha restaurant, to have coffee with them. He then reached the Beach Station and boarded a suburban MRTS train bound for Velacherry. "I will get down at Greenways Road station and walk home. I have purchased a monthly season ticket.

As I am a senior citizen, it cost me only Rs 105," he told TOI. It was a farewell of sorts, as by the time he emerged out of the high court gate, Justice Chandru was being followed by about 150 advocates and others, jostling to get close and capture every word he uttered.

While he was on NSC Bose Road, many platform-dwellers, vendors and rickshaw-pullers, who were once represented in court by 'advocate Chandru', came rushing and greeted him with a 'Vanakkam'. He discouraged a rickshaw man from following him, and curtly told him to go and do his business.

Earlier, when reporters asked him about his 'prescription' for reducing the huge pendency of cases in courts, Justice Chandru said, "One, lawyers should not boycott courts. Two, they should not take adjournments unnecessarily. Three, they must come to court after reading the case and laws."

As for his post-retirement plans, the judge said he would engage himself in social work and offer law-related assistance to the needy sections of society. Declaring that he never felt bad about any order he had passed during his stint, Justice Chandru said not reaching the 1-lakh mark too did not bother him.

"It is a mere number. I have discharged the constitutional duty entrusted to me with utmost sincerity and satisfaction," he said.

Chennai: Justice K. Chandru retired on Friday after serving sev­en years as judge of the Ma­d­ras high court. Justice Ch­andru walked to the nearest railway station, hopped on to an MRTS and reached home, leaving behind the ke­ys of the official car with acting chief justice R. K. Ag­r­awal and final hand-shake.

A group of his friends and admirers walked with him from the Madras high court to the beach station chatting with him. Justice Chandru had declared the assets he possessed when he was appointed as a judge and the assets he possess now at the time of his reti­r­ement. “After retirement, I will serve for the public cause as an advocate”, said Justice Cha­n­dru.

On his last day as judge, Justice Chandru said in order to bring down the pendency of cases, advocates should not resort to boycott and seek adjournments, but do their home work and argue their case in courts.

Justice Chandru turns trendsetter

After having spent his sevens years as judge of the Madras high court as a role model for others, Justice K. Chandru avoided the ‘traditional’ farewell tea and five-star dinner when he demitted office on Friday.

In a letter dated February 8, 2013, to acting chief justice R K Agrawal, Justice Chandru had requested him not to order the farewell ritual for him, as he would like to leave office quietly.

Justice Chandru had said in his letter, “I will be happy if 8th March, 2013, passes off as any other day in this Court.”

Unperturbed by the boycott by advocates, Justice Chandru sat in the court hall and completed the cases listed before him. After office hours, he met acting chief justice R. K. Agrawal, handed over the charge and official car key, besides declaring his assets.

After arriving at his chamber, he met his old friends and advocates. He emerged out of his chamber, clad in white dhoti and brown cotton shirt, calmed down and headed straightto the Press room, situated on the first floor of the high court. He had a free wheeling chat over a cup of coffee with scribes and recalled judgments like empowering women to perform poojas in temple and reservation for dalits in noon meals centre jobs that remained etched in his memory.

Thereafter, accompanied by his friends, he took a stroll to Beach station and reached home by MRTS.

The judge had already dispensed with the practice of his duffedar carrying a mace and walking in front when he went to the court and returned to the chamber.

He also sent back his gun-toting PSO (personal security officer) and at home, did not want official servants. A notice was pasted at the entrance of his chamber stating “No deities—no Flowers, no one is hungry-no Fruits, none is shivering—no shawls. We need only best wishes.”


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