Invitation : Administration of Criminal Justice

Praleen Public Charitable Trust has arranged 8th, Justice P. D. Desai Memorial Lecture on the below mentioned Subject

Administration of Criminal Justice

The speaker is Hon’ble Chief Justice Shri Altamas Kabir (Chief Justice of India)

on 17th February 2013, at 10.30 a.m.

University Convention & Exhibition Hall, GMDC Ground,
Helmet Circle, Ahmedabad.

It is expected that in view of recent events of crimes against women, members of your Organization/Institution may find it interesting to attend the lecture by CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA on Administration of Criminal Justice.

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Hon’ble Justice Shri S.H.Kapadia

Hon’ble Justice Shri S.H.Kapadia

Justice Mukhopadhya, Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, Mr. Suresh Shelat, Senior Advocate and Chairman of today’s meeting, Mr.Kamal Trivedi, Advocate General, Gujarat, who is also the member of theTrust, Mr. Bhaskar Tanna, Senior Advocate, Nirupam Nanavaty, my friend Dushyant Dave, Justice M.B. Shah, former Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Nanavati, former Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice C.K. Thakkar, former Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Trivedi, my colleague in the Bombay High Court, Justice Mehta, former Judge of the Gujarat High Court, the Sitting Judges of the Gujarat High Court, Senior Advocates practicing in the Gujarat High Court, ladies and gentlemen and students in particular.

Let me make one correction in the beginning. The Advocate General in his speech mentioned that I was working in Gagrat & Company, that’s not correct. I would like to make one clarification there. First of all, before I introduce the great man Justice P.D. Desai, I would like to share that I am a believer in God and I owe to God, to my family and to certain people in life including P.D. Desai. I started my career and I want to inform the students, particularly coming from poor family, that don’t be disheartened. This country is a great country. If it can give opportunity to a person who started his career as a peon, as a Class-IV employee, in a small Trust office, I am quite sure, in this land of opportunity, you can make it. I was working in a small Parsi Trust office. They had huge lands in Bombay, they were the clients of Gagrat & Company. It is in the evening and on Saturday, Sunday I used to work in Gagrat & Company just to go through the references, books, conveyances and there all of a sudden Mr. Gagrat saw me, one day he called me. He inquired who was I, how I came to Gagrat & Company and he stood by me till the end. He promised me that the day I joined the profession he will give me the brief and mind you I had no family background as far as law is concerned. Suddenly the man comes, he offers me an opportunity in life and that’s how I joined the profession. The same thing happened, I was in practice, Justice P.D. Desai came to Bombay I think from Calcutta as the former Chief Justice. Something happened, he called me in his Chamber, I was introduced to him by Justice S.C. Pratap and my name got cleared. I did not know Justice P.D. Desai prior in point of time. The point which I am making is have faith in God, have faith in destiny and you will contribute by the hard work towards what the God wills. This is my introduction.

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I am thankful to my Friend Suresh Shelat, Chairman of the Justice P. D. Desai Memorial Lecture Committee and the Praleen Public Charitable Trust for giving me an opportunity to pay my respectful homage to late Justice P. D. Desai’s memory. Once Lord Denning was asked what is the greatest quality of a lawyer ? And he said, “courage”. He didn’t say learning, he didn’t say commitment but courage. That’s true of our great judge, because without courage you cannot take any society forward. You cannot take the law forward. You, have to be courageous to turn the tide, you have to be courageous to meet with opposition. You have to be courageous to travel a new path, not tread upon the old oft trodden path. So I too believe that courage is perhaps the most distinguishing quality which distinguishes people who are part of the system and those who want to change the system and I am delighted to pay homage to late Justice Desai because he was a man of courage, he was also a man of great conviction. He was a man of great integrity. How many judges decline going to the Supreme Court ? Very few do. And he was a man who understood, and had great knowledge of law, great erudition as well. His landmark definition of the concept of plant with reference to depreciation in Income Tax Law is a milestone. Nani Palkhiwala called it a milestone judgement in the history of Taxation Law. But he had another quality without which you cannot endear yourself to people and it is empathy. He had great empathy for human beings. When he was the Chairman of the Redressal Committee for the Sardar Sarovar Project, I remember, and this happened in 1999. He had lost his late wife, he was no longer the Chief Justice of Mumbai High Court which is the last position that he held because he had been the Acting Chief Justice here, the Chief Justice of Himachal, the Chief Justice of Calcutta and then the Chief Justice of Bombay. He immersed himself in that task and gave succour to millions of people. And ultimately, you know, the project went on further because of his enormous commitment to give redressal of the grievances for the poor. So he was a man who had courage, he was a man who had empathy and he had been a man of great erudition. So, as I said, It is really an honour for me to have been invited to deliver this particular lecture. Continue reading