Inaugural speech of Hon'ble Chief Justice
At the outset I want to express that such function or custom of giving ovation is not there in Northeast India. It gives me immense pleasure to see so much good will from the people of Chhattisgarh and the manner in which you have arranged this ovation. I do not have adequate words to express my heartiest gratitude's and thankfulness to all of you who have organised this ovation. May be, my learned brother may also have been instrumental for this. I must also mention at this moment that Justice Garg has been here for some time and, as you all have mentioned, he has done a lot of work and, therefore, I owe to him. My wife, my son, my elder brother are with me and they have enjoyed every moment of their stay in the State of Chhattisgarh. I have no reason to doubt when brother (Justice R.S.Garg) has said people here are good. I am a simple man and I shall be happy to work amongst simple people.
It has been said many times, and I thought I should repeat because it is necessary to do so, that Bar Hon'ble Chief Justic W.A.Shishak and Bench are two sides of one coin and that speaks volumes that without co-operation of one from other the High Court will not move forward and I want all of you to contribute whatever you can. I have concern about the image of this institution. I am simple man, as I have said. Whatever I have learnt in the University of Delhi as far as provisions of law are concerned I have forgotten. I would, therefore, appeal particularly to the members of the Bar to help the Court as far as the provisions of the laws are concerned. We would, therefore, expect that you might rise to the occasion whenever you are called upon to assist the Court. This, in my opinion, would be in the best interest of the administration of justice and in the spirit of Chhattisgarh. Do what you say. If we do some thing else than we say, then people will not trust us and if people lose trust then in my humble opinion nothing remains in judiciary as, after all, judiciary is constructed entirely upon the solid foundation of confidence of the people. I would not care if people say that I am not a learned man, but I would feel if anybody accused me of partiality. I want to say to the lawyers that we are here to do justice to whom it is due and that justice has to be done to those persons who have brought the case. Therefore, we should be fair to each other. Though we should be frank and there should be no barrier between man and man, excessive friendliness between a Judge and a particular man is dangerous so far as judiciary is concerned. In the interest of justice let us avoid intimacy and let us never try to have so much access so far as judiciary is concerned. I seek your co-operation for this High Court. Some other brother Judges may join us in the near future and we seek your co-operation without which we cannot function smoothly. When judges and lawyers are outside the court, let us meet as people and citizens of this country.
I would, therefore, in the end request you to accept me as one of you.
Inaugural speech of Justice R.S. Garg
My Lord Justice W.A. Shishak,
I welcome you on behalf of the High Court of Chhattisgarh, on behalf of the people of Chhattisgarh, and on behalf of judicial Officers af Chhattisgarh, and permit me to welcome you on my own behalf also.
Your Lordship who is a Naga shifted from Gauhati to Nagaland in 1970 where you worked as Senior Government Advocate for the Government of Nagaland for a seven long years for the period between 1975 till 1983. Your Lordship had been President of the Nagaland Bar Association. Looking to your Lordship's qualities, deep interest in the law interpretation and your Lordship's concern about down trodden people you were sworn in as a judge of the Gauhati High Court on 2.1.1989.
Your Lordship comes from a tribal area and you are the first Naga who became the High Court Judge in 1989 since after independence. You are the first Chief Justice from amongst the Nagas and the first Chief Justice from amongst the tribal community in the country. My Lord, we wish to see you in Supreme Court as first tribal Judge of the Supreme Court.
Speaking for myself, when I met you for the first time at Jabalpur I was overwhelmed by your Lordship's mannerism, warmth shown towards me and your concern about the public. My Lord, I cannot claim that I have read you well nor can I say that I have understood you in full, but whatever I have understood about you can simply be said in few words. You are God fearing man; you are a social worker; a philanthropist and devoted to the cause of down trodden and people of lower strata.
My Lord, Chhattisgarh, as ordinarily understood, is a State of tribal and people of lower strata. You come from amongst them. You know their plights and perils. You understand their sorrows and their life style. My Lord, people of Chhattisgarh look at you not for any favour but for justice. I would not say that injustice has been done to them but would only say that their dues were not given to them.
My Lord, we are a new High Court. We have to establish a High Court so that the State of Chhattisgarh has a High Court of its own having its own traditions and the legal luminaries. Your Lordship would find that people of Chhattisgarh are simple, straight and soft. My experience of last one month as Acting Chief Justice of this Court can be summarised in one single statement, i.e. People here, are good. What is good does not need any further say.
We hope that your Lordship would help us in establishing the High Court, in maintaining the High Court traditions and bringing up to the level of any other good High Court in the country.
I wish you best and assure you best of our co-operation.
Inaugural speech of Advocate General
My Lord Chief Justice,
On this momentous occasion of your Lordship's arrival on the land of Chhattisgarh and appointment to the office of Chief Justice. I consider it my proud privilege to rise on behalf of the State Government of Chhattisgarh, Office of the Advocate General and on my own behalf to accord a very warm and Cordial welcome to you and offer heartiest facilitations.
It is indeed a great pleasure to have you as our first Chief Justice Of the High Court inaugurated on 1st November 2000 upon reorganisation and formation of the new State. Born in the year 1941 in ukhrul village of Manipur, my Lord after completing legal education joined the Gauhati Bar in 1967,where he had an illustrious career shouldering many responsibilities. His Lordship's well deserved elevation to the Bench of Gauhati High Court in 1989 marks the rise of Naga Tribals to the highest intellectual fraternity and we are all proud of you. My Lords qualities of head and heart, erudite knowledge and judicious temper have carved out a distinguished place for you. Till recently, our fellow brothers and sisters in the North East were the recipients of justice from you and now , when your Lordship has come to this part of Central India crossing the territorial boundaries of the States, it is our good fortune to receive dispensation of justice at your able hands. In This course, yours Lordship might witness geographical, climatic and cultural differences but, regardless of the states, there is no differences in basic human values of the people. They have same love, trust and reverence in their heart. That is why in these two days we find you as absolutely one of us. Between the People of this state and my Lord, an emotional report and bondage of oneness of everlasting strength has already been established, when on your arrival at the Raipur Airport Yesterday, your Lordship greeted the people saying 'Chhattisgarh Jindabad'. My Lord we immensely value and respect your sentiments and assure you that it inspires us to move together with a common spirit and object in mind to give to the people a High Court efficient in system, quick in delivery of justice and produce a strong, vibrant and responsive judicial system in the state. The tasks rests at the hands of this newly established High Court with my Lord as its Chief, who brings along with him vast treasure of knowledge, experience in all walks of life, foresight and devotion. The task will be accomplished soon.
My Lord, you are the first Chief Justice of this great institution, new to the place, though not new to the legal frqtenity. This High Court is the successor of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh and is born with splendid heritage, the ultimate predecessor of both being the High Court of Nagpur in the erstwhile C.P. & Berar provinces. Largely our Procedure, practices and traditions are derived from the Nagpur High Court. Which have over a period of years stood the test of time and served the institution well.
My Lord, it is true that on 1st of November last the High Court of Chhattisgarh came to be established. It was indeed inaugurated upon completion of constitutional and legal procedures. But, the real task of its establishment has started only thereafter. There are more than teething problems. However, it must be said to the credit of Hon'ble Justice Shri R.S.Garg that he succeeded in making and giving to us functional structure of the High Court in this short span of time with remarkable drive, devotion and untiring efforts undertaking immense pains an Acting chief Justice.
This newly born state of Chhattisgarh is predominantly inhabitated by aboriginals spread over large part of the state. They have not received their due share of right and justice. Nearly three fifth of the State all over the 16 districts comprising it is rich in agriculture mainly paddy growing. Rich produced in exported and therefore, it is justly called the Rica Bowl of the Country. It has abundance of mineral resources, forest and water, Large part of the state was covered by Native Ruling states which were 14 in number and which merged with the Indian Union at the behest of late Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel the great unifier on 1.1.1948. Although, this part is comparatively, economically and educationally poor, yet it has produced many gems in Hindi Literature. The erstwhile rulers of the States encouraged learning in music, fine arts and patronised research centres. University of music and fine Arts at Khairagarh is a unique one.
My Lord, Feudatory states of Chhattisgarh were part of Eastern states agencies which had 39 States in its fold i.e. 14 States of Chhattisgarh, 21 States of Orissa and three states of Bengal viz, Cooch-Bihar, Manipur and Tripura. When Union was formed in 1944, all the States joined except the Three Bengal states Union with its Secretariat and High Court. Mod. Ismail was first Chief Justice of High Court who later so become High Commissioner of Pakistan for India. He was succeeded by sir Bhawani Shankar Niyogi from Nagpur. Legal luminaries like late M.Bhaduri and vakil Ahmed Risvi if Raipur, late D.P. Agrawal of Durg, Barrister Chhedicak Thakur, Devi Prasad Verma, S.C.Mitra, Triabak Rao Dehankar, Kunj Bihari lal Agnihotri, Ramgopal Tiwari and M.S.D. Sharma of Bilaspur and more likes of Raigarh, Rajnandgaon made a very rich Bar. Chhatisgarh Bar has produced eminent judges such as Shri K.M.Agrawal, Retd. Chief Justice, Justice R.C.Shrivastava, Justice K.L.Shrivastava, Justice K.K. Verma, Justice P.C.Pathak, Justice S.D.Jha and Justice S.K.tiwari. It is appropriate that Bilaspur has the pride of locating the highest seat of Judicature. The present members of the local Bar and those shifted here from neighbouring districts in particular the youngsters have tremendous promises in storo awaiting for opportunity, exhibiting the zeal to learn and rise. It would be our duty and effort to guide and encourage them into shaping a Bar compared to any of the best anywhere.
My Lord, this state even though blessed richly by nature with resources has remained far less developed and poor. Social, political and economic justice, the guaranteed rights by the constitution have mostly remained cherished desire of the people. Welfare measures so far have proved inadequate. The Courts have made sincere the numbers. But more needs to be done. The needy and poor craving for justice are looking upon this institution with unbounded faith, hopes and aspirations. It shall be our collective endeavor to provide them justice seedy and less burdensome.
My Lord, the State Government is committed to fulfill the guarantee of Social-economic and political justice to people along with good governance and rule of law. It realise that a strong, independent and responsive judiciary with equipped, efficient legal system constitutes the corner stone of edifice of democracy. At this juncture in the task of leading the judiciary and its system the State Government pleadges its fullest and sincere co-operation to My Lord and the institution. Initially, there may be some difficulties but we intend to overcome them soon though our honest effort and mutual help. I once again welcome you with a very successful and glorious tenure and lots of Good Luck. Our prayers are with you.