The judge who guided the 2G case into an anti-graft crusade

Posted on February 3, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

NEW DELHI: “He has been a tough judge,” admitted attorney general Ghoolam E Vahanvati, as the Supreme Court bid farewell to Justice A K Ganguly on Thursday. A few hours earlier, Justice Ganguly along with Justice G S Singhvi ruled that all 121 licences issued for 2G spectrum were illegal. 

Justice Ganguly had a wry smile on his face, as Vahanvati paid tribute to the judge who played a historic role in guiding the 2G case into one of India’s most sensational anti-corruption investigations, claiming many high and mighty on the way. 

“Justice Ganguly has been a tough judge. You couldn’t pull the wool over his eyes during court hearings,” Vahanvati said before an audience of Supreme Court judges, senior lawyers and others including Prashant Bhushan who had gathered for the farewell function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association

Vahanvati recalled that throughout his career as a judge, Justice Ganguly made his “strong aversion to corruption” evident, first in various high courts and later in the Supreme Court. 

The bench comprising Justices Ganguly and Singhvi is widely perceived to have set the ball rolling for a thorough probe into the 2G scam which eventually led to imprisonment of former telecom minister A Raja and several other high profile people. 

On his last day as judge of the apex court, Justice Ganguly sat with Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia and the 2G verdict was delivered by Justice Singhvi, though it was their joint judgment. 

At the SCBA function, Justice Ganguly said he “always tried to play with a straight bat” and “only did my duty”. Pointing to the book written by former English captain David Compton ‘End Of An Innings”, Justice Ganguly said, “Similarly, it is an end of my innings as a judge. I don’t know how I played my innings but I always tried to play with a straight bat. It is for you to judge how I have played it.” 

He also lamented that the courts were being forced to get involved in everything from “before the time you are born (pre-natal) to arranging expenses for your funeral”. He added, “We are solving problems governments are unable or unwilling to solve.” 

Quoting Rabindranath Tagore, Justice Ganguly said, “Bondage is wrapping me around. They are about to leave me. But when they leave me, there is a wrench in my heart.”

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