Justice Gautam Patel retires, gets farewell in a unique manner

Justice Patel in a split judgement struck down the amendment in the Information Technology Act as unconstitutional

Justice Gautam Patel retires, gets farewell in a unique manner

Justice Gautam Patel, known in judicial circles for his firm judgments in civil matters, fearless cutting remarks during hearings, incisiveness and mastery of the English language, retired on Thursday after 11 years of service in the Bombay High Court. Notably, for his farewell ceremony, the Chief Justice and other judges bid farewell to Justice Patel in a unique way, breaking the tradition of formal farewell ceremonies that had been going on till now.

Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyay along with other judges and lawyers gathered in the historic Central Hall of the main building of Bombay High Court and bid farewell to Justice Patel and wished him the best for the future. Justice Patel, who was moved by all this, also thanked him for starting a new tradition for his farewell.

At the same time, he insisted that the 150-year-old and historic building of the High Court holds a special place in his heart. Also requested to never leave it in the building. Wherever the new High Court building is built in Mumbai in future, do not vacate this building completely. Take a stone from this building and lay the foundation of a new building elsewhere. But Justice Patel requested not to let anything happen to this building.

Justice Patel was also emotional during the luncheon organised for the judges before this farewell ceremony. However, the Chief Justice said that it is not because he is retiring, but rather that he will not be able to come to the High Court building again. Justice Patel settled the issue of Dhangar reservation which was pending for several years in six months. Advocate Uday Varunjikar pointed out that Justice Patel delivered the verdict for five consecutive hours in the open courtroom. Justice Patel was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court in 2013. Even after that, he brought the issues of public interest to the attention of the judges through correspondence. He was the first to raise the issue of potholes in Mumbai. Also, on the basis of his correspondence, the then Chief Justice had himself filed a Public Interest Litigation in this matter.

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Justice Patel recently delivered a verdict on the Dawoodi Bohra succession dispute. Moreover, in another case it was held that public banks have no right to intentionally prevent defaulters from travelling abroad. Justice Patel in a split judgement struck down the amendment in the Information Technology Act as unconstitutional. 

Justice Patel also gave an important order to hold a by-election for the seat that fell vacant after the death of BJP MP Girish Bapat. In addition, the bench headed by Justice Patel has given important verdicts regarding the action taken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on sidewalks. The dispute between the Thackeray family over Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray's will was also heard before a single bench of Justice Patel.

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