New Delhi: Supreme Court judge Justice Hemant Gupta, who is retiring, said a judge cannot make people happy as that is not the role assigned to him.
Justice Gupta, in a split verdict, on Thursday dismissed appeals challenging the Karnataka High Court judgment which had refused to lift the hijab ban. He will superannuate on October 16.
At a felicitation programme organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association on his last working day, he said: “A job of a judge is such that one of the parties (litigant party) will be unhappy. A judge cannot make people happy, that’s not the role assigned to him. That role is assigned to other people in public life. One cannot discharge his duties to please people while discharging his duties as a judge.”
Justice Gupta said that he was “harsh and blunt in court, but whatever orders were warranted as per my understanding were passed”.
“Most important is my inner satisfaction that I have given the best to the institution. I have no regrets. I have tried my best to discharge my duties with utmost humility and sincerity, though sometimes I lose my cool.”
Justice Gupta also said that no one is perfect and he cannot stake any claim to perfection.
Chief Justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit praised Justice Gupta for being “completely digitized” and termed him a “great asset” to the institution. He also praised Justice Gupta for his efficiency in delivering judgments and added that any judgment would be ready in two weeks.
Justice Gupta said he was satisfied with his work, and whatever role was assigned to him, he performed to the best of his abilities, and without fear or favor.
The Chief Justice said he is a man who can go into everything to make the best of whatever is presented before him.
Justice Gupta, earlier in the day, sat with Chief Justice Lalit and heard matters listed before the bench.
Justice Gupta was elevated as an apex court judge on November 2, 2018. The son of former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Jitender Vir Gupta, Justice Gupta was born on October 17, 1957, and he enrolled as an advocate in July 1980. He also worked as an Additional Advocate General of Punjab from 1997 to 1999.
He was appointed as a judge of the Patna High Court on February 8, 2016, and was appointed as its acting Chief Justice on October 29, 2016. On March 18, 2017, he was appointed as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.