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Judge’s job is not to please people – Justice Hemant Gupta, who delivered the verdict in the hijab ban, said

Justice Hemant Gupta, who delivered the verdict in the Hijab case, has said goodbye to the Supreme Court. On this occasion, he said that the job of the judge is not to please the people, but to decide the cases on the basis of law. A two-judge bench of the apex court had differing views on the Karnataka hijab ban case.

Justice Gupta dismissed the petitions filed against the order of the Karnataka High Court. During the hearing, the High Court had refused to lift the ban on hijab in educational institutions. However, the final decision of the top court is yet to come on this matter. Whereas, Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia allowed the appeals.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) delivered the farewell speech. He said, ‘A judge cannot please people… It is not his job. That role has been given to others in public life. A person cannot do his work with the intention of making people happy. I was harsh in court, was outspoken.

Justice Gupta said being in the apex court was a “personally enriching experience” and he always got support from all the lawyers. He was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court on November 2, 2018.

Justice Gupta told the advocates present in the court, “Personally speaking, I thoroughly enjoyed my innings of almost 20 years. Each day was a learning one for me and you all have helped me in the learning process. Thanks a lot.’ Advocates were present in the courtroom to bid farewell to Justice Gupta on his last working day.

With the retirement of Justice Gupta, the number of serving judges in the apex court will come down to 28, while 34 posts of judges, including the CJI, are sanctioned. During his tenure as a Supreme Court judge, Justice Gupta delivered several important judgments, including the verdict in the Karnataka hijab ban case.

CJI praised
Praising Justice Gupta’s contribution to the judiciary, the CJI said that he had met him for the first time around 12-13 years ago and has known him closely since then. In the beginning, the CJI said, ‘I must say this. Today’s bench has two senior most judges in terms of age. CJI Lalit is due to retire on November 8.

“Incidentally, my first day in the apex court was in the CJI’s chamber and my last day is also in the same room,” Justice Gupta said. Several senior advocates including Mukul Rohatgi and Abhishek Manu Singhvi extended their best wishes to Justice Gupta on his last working day. “On behalf of the Bar, we wish you a happy and successful second innings,” Rohatgi said.

Born on 17 October 1957, Justice Gupta enrolled as an advocate in July 1980. He also served as the Additional Advocate General of Punjab from 1997 to 1999. He was appointed as a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on July 2, 2002.

He took over as a judge of the Patna High Court on February 8, 2016 and was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the same High Court on October 29, 2016. Justice Gupta was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on March 18, 2017.