New Delhi, June 17, 2023 – Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud took a nostalgic journey down memory lane as he bid farewell to three judges who are demitting office from the Supreme Court. Justice KM Joseph, Justice Ajay Rastogi, and Justice V. Ramasubramanian will step down from their respective positions in the coming weeks, marking the end of their illustrious legal careers.
Speaking at an event organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association, CJI Chandrachud shared personal anecdotes and praised the unique qualities of each retiring judge. He highlighted his long-standing friendship with Justice Joseph, emphasizing their shared childhood experiences growing up in Delhi. From playing football and cricket together at India Gate to admiring Justice Joseph’s father, Justice KK Mathew, as a personal icon, their bond has remained strong over the years.
CJI Chandrachud also expressed gratitude to Justice Joseph’s mother, who introduced him to the delights of Kerala cuisine, including idiyappam (rice noodles). He fondly remembered the evenings spent relishing her culinary creations, which added a touch of warmth and hospitality to their friendship. Justice Joseph’s journey took him from Delhi to Kerala, where he pursued his legal career, eventually culminating in his appointment as a judge of the Uttarakhand High Court and later the Supreme Court.
Turning to Justice Rastogi, the CJI acknowledged his pivotal role in spearheading the Supreme Court’s transition to digital proceedings during the challenging COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Justice Rastogi’s love for golf earned him the moniker “master of the greens,” as he dedicated his weekends to perfecting his skills on the golf course. The CJI commended Justice Rastogi’s dedication and commitment to both his legal duties and his favorite sport. Notably, Justice Rastogi co-authored a significant judgment with the CJI, granting permanent commission to women short service commission officers in the Indian Navy. His legal career has spanned the Rajasthan High Court, the Tripura High Court, and ultimately the Supreme Court.
Justice Ramasubramanian, known for his profound knowledge of Tamil literature, Sanskrit, and Hindu scriptures, fascinated the CJI with his multifaceted expertise. Despite being introduced to the English language during his graduation in Chennai, Justice Ramasubramanian authored numerous books in English, displaying his prowess in wordplay and wit. The CJI marveled at his colleague’s command over diverse subjects such as astrology, mysticism, Carnatic music, and Sanskrit. Justice Ramasubramanian’s journey from being a first-generation lawyer to becoming a judge has been a remarkable testament to his dedication