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Supreme Court Judge Breaks Down In Farewell Speech, Quotes Raj Kapoor Song

Sitting on the ceremonial bench presided over by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice MR Shah choked up while concluding his address and quoted the lines from Raj Kapoor's iconic song "Jeena yahan, marna yahan".

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Justice MR Shah retired as Supreme Court judge today.
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Justice MR Shah, the fourth senior-most Supreme Court judge in India, on Monday was teary-eyed as he addressed the courtroom on his last day in office, saying he is not a person to retire and will start a new inning in life.
    
Sitting on the ceremonial bench presided over by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Shah broke down while concluding his address and quoted the lines from Raj Kapoor's iconic song "Jeena yahan, marna yahan".

"I am not a person to retire and I am going to start a new inning of my life. I am praying to the almighty God to give me strength and courage and good health to play the new inning. Before parting, I would like to remember a song by Raj Kapoor ‘kal khel me hum ho na ho, gardish me tare rahenge sada’,” he said choking with emotions.

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Justice Shah was appointed to the top court on November 2, 2018. With his retirement, the number of judges in the apex court are now down to 32, including the CJI, against the sanctioned strength of 34. His retirement comes just a day after Justice Dinesh Maheshwari demitted the office.

Heading the ceremonial bench, CJI Chandrachud fondly recalled his association with the retiring judge.

“My association with Justice Shah goes back to a long-long time when I was the Additional Solicitor General of India and we renewed our friendship when he came to the Supreme Court. We sat together during the most difficult times, that is during the Covid times.

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"I will say some lighter things in the evening when I am liberated from presiding over this solemn occasion as the CJI. I will then speak to all of you as a friend of Justice Shah in the evening,” Justice Chandrachud said.

The CJI expressed how Justice Shah was always ready for any challenge. “Even during Covid times, I found that when we were sitting in our respective homes and we were taking on some heavy matters, he was always ready for a challenge.”

"He was never the one who shirks work. If I send him a judgement, the judgement will come back overnight with his annotations and be completely read. If I send him a judgement for him to draft as a senior colleague, likewise, the judgement will be on my table within 48 hours,” he said.

The CJI said he is “a true friend and an enabled ally and support in the collegium”.

Justice Shah thanked members of the bar and SC officials and his support staff for helping him serve as the top court judge. "I do not know if I deserve it or not but I accept it as a parting gift," he said.
He extended his unconditional apology to anyone whose feelings might have been hurt during his tenure. “It was not deliberate. I always treated my work as worship...I am overwhelmed by the love and affection shown by you. I am thankful to all members of the bar and the registry. I am also thankful to my support staff and residence staff," he said.

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Bar leaders, including Attorney General R Venkataramani, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and others wished Justice Shah on his last day on the bench.

“I have known My lord as a judge and as a lawyer too, he is one of the few brave judges that I have known...The number of judgements which you have written shows that your family has suffered the most, and now they must get the benefit of your time,” Mehta said.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju said he has known Justice Shah for quite a long time and he is fearless just like a lawyer.

Born on May 16, 1958, Justice Mukeshkumar Rasikbhai Shah enrolled as an advocate on July 19, 1982. He practised in the Gujarat High Court, specialising in land, constitutional and education matters.

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He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Gujarat High Court on March 7, 2004, and appointed as Permanent Judge on June 22, 2005.

He was appointed as Chief Justice of Patna High Court on August 12, 2018. He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on November 2, 2018, and is retiring on May 15, 2023.

(With PTI inputs)

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