Justice Akil Kureshi Advocates for Unity in Diversity and Ethical Judiciary

Retired High Court Judge, Justice Akil Kureshi, emphasizes unity in diversity and ethical judiciary at SGS Award ceremony. He criticizes Collegium system and calls for inclusive reforms. Urges legal community to uphold integrity. Award recognizes commitment to legal ethics.

Retired High Court judge Justice Akil Kureshi emphasized the significance of upholding the idea of India as a nation characterized by unity in diversity. Speaking at an event where he was honored with the 'SGS Award for Ethics in the Legal Profession,' Justice Kureshi underscored the importance of preserving the modern, liberal, and scientific outlook that defines contemporary India.

"In today's India, unity in diversity is as important as unity. I will ask the students of law to never let this idea of India be mutilated," he remarked.

The award, named in memory of the renowned lawyer and former Advocate General of Tamil Nadu, S Govind Swaminadhan, was presented to Justice Kureshi in recognition of his commitment to ethics and independence in the judiciary.

Reflecting on his own principles upon assuming the role of a judge, Justice Kureshi expressed his dedication to upholding ethics and independence throughout his tenure.

"When I became a judge, I made myself a promise to conduct myself in such a way that once I demit office, even if people didn't say, 'He was a great judge,' they should say, 'He was an ethical and independent judge,'" he affirmed.

While addressing areas within the judiciary that necessitate improvement, Justice Kureshi raised concerns regarding the Collegium system. He questioned the efficacy of a small group of judges in comprehensively addressing all facets of the system and advocated for the inclusion of diverse perspectives.

"But I have always been against this. Imagine, how a lawyer will feel continuing his practice after these reasons about him are made public," he remarked.

Justice Kureshi proposed the establishment of a mechanism involving former judges, social workers, and individuals with backgrounds in electoral politics to engage in deliberations aimed at refining the Collegium system.

Furthermore, he expressed apprehension regarding instances of human rights violations and judicial reluctance to safeguard the rights of couples, particularly in cases related to live-in relationships.

"I am concerned every time there is a case of human rights violation, when courts fail to protect the lives of couples because they think these couples are living in immorality. When live-in relationships are not protected because a judge thinks it is corrupting society," he stated.

However, Justice Kureshi remained optimistic about the trajectory of society, emphasizing the importance of introspection and collective judgment in evaluating one's conduct.

"In the end, all of us must ask ourselves if we have lived a good life? And the answer shouldn't come from oneself but from others," he concluded.

In his address, Justice Akil Kureshi reiterated the imperative of safeguarding the essence of unity in diversity within the Indian context. He urged future legal professionals to uphold the principles of integrity and impartiality essential to the judiciary.

Acknowledging the honor bestowed upon him, Justice Kureshi expressed gratitude for being recognized for his commitment to ethical conduct within the legal profession. He reaffirmed his dedication to upholding judicial integrity and impartiality, reflecting on his longstanding pledge to serve as an ethical and fearless judge.