Justice A M Khanwilkar, the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, retired on Friday

Justice A M Khanwilkar

NEW DELHI: Justice A M Khanwilkar, the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, retired on Friday and thanked bar association leaders for their “love and affection”. In his speech, Justice Khanwilkar said “As parting words, I will only say thank you to all for the love and affection. Thank you so much. God bless you,”  He was sitting with Chief Justice N V Ramana and two other judges at the time of the rising of the ceremonial bench.

He was appointed as the Supreme court judge on May 13, 2016, and was part of benches that rendered many important verdicts during his over five-year-long tenure.

During an event, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president and senior advocate Vikas Singh recalled his association with Justice Khanwilkar as Supreme court lawyer and judge of the high court and Supreme Court.

“It is always difficult for us when a judge retires. It is more difficult when a judge, who has been part of us, retires. He has been there as a colleague of ours. As members of this Bar, we used to share our chambers in the same corridor in the Supreme Court. We saw him rise to become a High Court judge then come back here as the Supreme Court judge,” Singh said.

Terming Justice Khanwilkar as a “workaholic”, the SCBA president said the Bar feels that the age of 65 years is very young for a Supreme Court judge to retire and “at 70 should definitely be there”.

“We will really miss Justice Khanwilkar. We will miss the smile on his face. Everyone will agree with me that even while dismissing a petition, he would do this with a smile on his face and we never left the courtroom with bitterness,” the law officer said.

Many senior advocates including Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi were present on the occasion.

“It has been an honor and pleasure of knowing My Lord Justice Khanwilkar now for almost four decades as a colleague…and then appearing before him in a different avatar…I would say only one thing that please treat it as the beginning of a second inning and not a retirement,” Salve said.

The SCBA would hold a function in the evening to formally bid farewell to Justice Khanwilkar.

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