New Delhi: Justice J Chelameswar, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court who retires on June 22, has declined an invitation from the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for his farewell function citing personal reasons, SCBA office-bearers said.
Justice Chelameswar had recently courted controversy by holding a press conference along with other three senior most judges -- Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph -- on January 12, in which litany of allegations were made against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
SCBA president Vikas Singh said the bar body had met him last week to invite him for the farewell on May 18, which is the last working day of the Supreme Court before the summer vacation. "He declined the invite for the farewell function," Singh told PTI.
He said the members of the executive committee of SCBA today once again tried to persuade him to attend the farewell function but the judge did not agree citing personal reasons.
The judge also told the members of the bar that he had not accepted a farewell earlier when he was moving out of the Andhra Pradesh High Court to another high court.
SCBA honorary secretary Vikrant Yadav said the senior most judge today met the members of the bar at his residence, had a chat with them but declined the invite for his farewell.
He said it is a tradition that when a judge is retiring during the vacation, a farewell is thrown on the last working day before the holidays.
Justice Chelameswar today did not come to the apex court for judicial work.
As a result, he also missed the traditional Wednesday lunch of the judges when one of them takes a turn to bring 'ghar ka khana' (home food) from his or her home state. This was the third consecutive Wednesday when Justice Chelameswar did not attend court.