The Madras High Court on Wednesday bid farewell to its Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) M. Duraiswamy on account of his retirement from service on attaining the age of superannuation. He had been a judge of the High Court for 13 years. He was elevated on March 31, 2009 and served as Acting Chief Justice twice.
In his farewell address, Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram said, the ACJ had left an indelible mark in the institution. “Your Lordship hails from Madurai and I am very proud to say that I also belong to the same place,” the A-G said and pointed out that the ACJ’s grandfather had served as public prosecutor in Madurai.
Further, stating that the ACJ’s father D. Muthuvel was a retired district judge, the A-G said, Justice Duraiswamy had obtained his law degree from the Madras Law College and enrolled himself with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in 1987. He was groomed by A.S. Venkatachalamoorthy, former Chief Justice of Chattisgarh High Court.
“Your Lordship had dealt with numerous cases of great significance during your 13-year-long tenure and dealt with intriguing questions of law with utmost sincerity and legal clarity. Till this day, Your Lordship has disposed of 46,313 cases which is a commendable achievement,” the A-G said.
Recalling some of the verdicts where the ACJ had laid down the law in unequivocal terms, the A-G said, “these decisions stand testimony to Your Lordship’s deep understanding of law, strict adherence to judicial norms and liberal interpretation of principles while administering justice. Your judgements have always been founded upon the principles of equality, fairness and equity”
He went on to state: “Indeed, you have always discharged your duties with good conscience, free from bias and thereby upheld the long standing traditions of the Madras High Court. Your Lordship is well known for giving a patient hearing. Patience wins several hearts.”
The A-G also congratulated Justice Duraiswamy on having been appointed as the chairperson of Tamil Nadu Real Estate Appellate Tribunal. In his reply to the farewell speech, the ACJ recalled the assurance he gave to the Bar, when he assumed office 13 years ago, to render justice within the framework of law.
He thanked his mentor, family members, colleagues in the Bench, the Bar, his personal staff and the High Court Registry for their invaluable assistance in the journey. The ACJ also commended the performance of the young lawyers and said that the reputation and tradition of the High Court was in safe hands.