Justice AS Bopanna bids Farewell to Supreme Court: A Recap of Demonetization and TATA-Mistry Case Decisions from the First-Generation Lawyer Turned Judge [Read Judgement]

A Recap of Key Decisions on Demonetization and TATA-Mistry Case by the First-Generation Lawyer Turned Judge
Justice AS Bopanna - Supreme Court - Demonetization - TATA - Supreme Court farewell - taxscan

On May 17, 2024, the Supreme Court bid farewell to Justice AS Bopanna as he concluded his distinguished five-year tenure as a Judge. Amidst accolades from the legal fraternity, Justice Bopanna’s legacy shines through his contributions to significant judgments, including those on demonetization and the TATA-Mistry case.

Justice AS Bopanna, a first-generation lawyer who rose to prominence, leaves behind a legacy of impartiality and dedication to justice. His journey from Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court to Supreme Court Judge in 2019 marked a chapter of insightful jurisprudence and impactful rulings.

The Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud commended Justice Bopanna for his modest demeanor with lawyers and his capacity to maintain composure and empathy when dealing with significant legal matters. The CJI praised Justice Bopanna’s unwavering commitment to the Supreme Court, noting that even during his illness, he remained attentive to pending Constitutional decisions.

During his tenure, Justice Bopanna contributed to pivotal judgments addressing a range of legal complexities. Noteworthy among these are his roles in cases concerning demonetization, free speech rights of legislators, reservations in educational institutions, and the high-profile TATA-Mistry dispute.

Justice Bopanna’s involvement in the TATA-Mistry case showcased his legal acumen in navigating intricate corporate matters. His contributions to this landmark dispute underscored his understanding of commercial law and governance intricacies. In a long-awaited verdict in the Tata-Mistry Row, the 3-judge bench of then Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian has upheld the removal of Cyrus Mistry as Chairman by the Tata Sons and has also answered all questions in favour of Tata Sons

In evaluating the constitutional aspects of the government’s demonetization scheme, Justice Bopanna’s insights played a crucial role. His judgments reflected a deep understanding of economic and legal implications, shaping the discourse around financial policies.

On January 2nd, 2023, a Constitution Bench led by Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justices B.R. Gavai, A.S. Bopanna, V. Ramasubramanian and B.V. Nagarthana delivered the Judgment in the challenge to the Union’s 2016 Demonetisation Scheme. Justice Bopanna with Justices Gavai, Nazeer, and Ramasubramanian had upheld the Scheme by a 4:1 majority.

Reflecting on Justice Bopanna’s departure from services, legal luminaries such as Attorney General R Venkataramani, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, and Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal praised his calm demeanor, wit, and dedication to justice. Their testimonials resonate with Justice Bopanna’s impactful presence in the courtroom.

As Justice Bopanna bids farewell to the Supreme Court, his contributions remain etched in legal history. His legacy as a fair and insightful judge reverberates through landmark judgments, leaving a lasting impact on India’s legal landscape.

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