Justice Sanjib Banerjee’s farewell letter to Madras HC
Outgoing Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee has bid goodbye to “everyone in this beautiful and glorious state” of Tamil Nadu while regretting he “could not completely demolish the feudal culture” amid which court staff work.
In a farewell message to fellow judges, the Bar, the court registry and staff, Justice Banerjee said he was “leaving with the happiest memories”.
Lawyers had protested Justice Banerjee’s sudden transfer to Meghalaya High Court after just 10 months in Madras, during which he had earned praise for his administrative work as well as his landmark judgments that upheld constitutional values.
Following is the text of the farewell letter:
“My dear family at the Madras High Court,
“To my colleagues at the Bench: I apologise. First, for being unable to last the distance and second, for not saying goodbye to you in person. Finally, to the few of you who may have felt offended by any of my actions, please know that they were never personal: I perceived those actions as necessary for the institution.
“Ranee and I have been overwhelmed by the warmth and affection you have showered on us at all times.
“To the members of the Bar: you are among the best in the country and have suffered a talkative and sometimes grumpy old judge with more patience, respect and understanding than I may have deserved. My sincere gratitude to you for all of your kind words.
“To my registry: your efficiency made administration easy. I also acknowledge the sincerity that you have shown to improve and better the system and processes; please continue your endeavour to bring about transparency and accountability.
“To all the staff: I am sorry for the long hours that you had to keep for me. I appreciate your fullest cooperation. My regret is that I could not completely demolish the feudal culture in which you serve.
“Ranee and I remain forever indebted to everyone in this beautiful and glorious state we had the privilege of calling our own for the last eleven months and for the kindness and warmth with which we were greeted during the entire tenure.
“We leave with the happiest memories. God bless and warm regards.
(“Nandri” in Tamil means “thanks” and “vanakkam” stands for “namaste” or “namaskar”.)