USTICE Ashok Bhushan bid farewell to the Supreme Court on Wednesday as he shared a ceremonial bench with Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana and concluded his judicial work. He retires on July 4.
“His judgments stand testimony to his welfarist and humanistic approach. He will certainly be remembered for his judgments”, CJI Ramana said.
Justice Bhushan said the Bar had been very kind and respectful to him, both inside and outside court.
“I am of the view that judgment delivered by a judge can’t be called only his contribution, but the Bar’s contribution is more than the judge’s contribution. I am proud to be part of this Supreme Court which has upheld the rule of law. To be part of the Supreme Court is a matter of great pride”, Justice Bhushan said.
Justice Bhushan was appointed judge of the top court on 13.05.2016. Prior to his elevation, he served as the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court. He originally belongs to the Allahabad High Court.
In his five years tenure, Justice Bhushan was part of the Constitution bench even as he handed down many significant rulings. He was part of a five-judge bench concerning power tussle between the Central Government and the Government of Delhi. In another case, he upheld the Aadhaar Act in his separate but concurring opinion with the majority decision.
Justice Bhushan was also part of the Ayodhya judgment giving the disputed land to the Ram temple. In 2020, a bench headed by him took suo motu cognisance of the migrant crisis that followed the nationwide lonckdwon.
Early this year, a Justice Bhushan-led bench refused to grant interim protection from arrest to the makers of the Amazon web series “Tandav” in multiple FIRs filed against them by the police from different states. After the Allahabad High Court denied bail to Amazon Prime’s Aparna Purohit in the FIR in Lucknow, Justice Bhushan stayed the arrest though he termed the Centre’s rules for regulating over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, “toothless”.
Yesterday, a bench headed by him directed all states that had not implemented the ‘one nation one ration scheme’ to do so by July 31, 2021. The bench also directed that community kitchens continue to provide food to migrant workers till the pandemic is over.
On his last working days, a bench of which Justice Bhushan was part, held that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had failed to perform its duty by not recommending minimum standards of relief for families of those who had died of Covid19. The bench, thus, ordered the NDMA to frame guidelines for ex-gratia compensation for COVID deaths within six months. It left the amount to the discretion of the national authority.