India Today

'Taking a stand and pushing for it is a permissible democratic right, isn't it?'

After 21 years of wielding the gavel, seven at the Supreme Court, Justice Chelameswar, 65, brought it down for good. Here are excerpts from a conversation he had with India Today.

"Do you want me to go to jail?" When Justice Jasti Chelameswar refuses to answer questions on the probe into the mysterious death of special CBI judge B.H. Loya for fear of contempt of court, you hide a smile. When did fear take precedence over forthrightness for a man who has famously led an unprecedented press conference of four sitting judges of the Supreme Court in January this year, to throw tough questions at the institution no one dares question, i.e. the Supreme Court? He justifies his actions with a smile: "I am a commoner now."

After 21 years of wielding the gavel, seven at the Supreme Court, Justice Chelameswar, 65, brought it down for good. Seniormost after the Chief Justice of India, he made the quiet internal procedures of the apex court more dramatic than frontline politics in recent years. Chelameswar walked off into retirement

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