Justice Chelameswar, who submitted his resignation on June 22, 2017, was praised by the lawyers for doing a "great job in upholding democracy." He had virtually revolted by holding a controversial January 12 presser.
It is one of the customs of the Supreme Court that a retiring judge, on his last working day, is given the honour of sharing the dais with the CJI in the majestic Court no 1.
Justice Chelameswar, who has been at loggerheads with the CJI over the functioning of the apex court including the allocation of sensitive cases and on the recommendation of judges for appointment to higher judiciary, maintained the tradition of sharing the dais with the CJI.
The judge ended the speculation among the legal circles that he would not be a part of the bench. The speculation had gained momentum after he had refused the invitation of the Supreme Court Bar Association which was preparing a farewell function for him on Friday.
A large number of people, besides lawyers and litigants, thronged the courtroom on Friday morning. There was no mentioning in the court no 1, which is usually flooded with cases and where 11 matters were listed for the day.
The bench sat for a brief period and rose for the day at 11:15 AM.
Senior Advocate Rajiv Dutta advocates Prashant Bhushan and Gopal Sankaranarayanan gave short farewell speeches to Justice Chelameswar.
Bhushan thanked Justice Chelameswar for "upholding democracy" and said,"On behalf of the Bar, I would like to say that it was an honour to have appeared before you. Future generations will remember your contribution to democracy and to the country."
Dutta thanked the judge for "upholding the ideals of the institution", while Sankaranarayanan expressed his gratitude towards him for the grace he has shown towards junior members of the Bar and said this would always be remembered and appreciated.
Justice Chelameswar left the courtroom with folded hands. The judge also told the members of the bar that he had not accepted a farewell earlier when he was moving out of the Andhra Pradesh High Court to another high court.
(With inputs from agencies)