New Delhi: Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia, who delivered several landmark verdicts including on appointment of CVC Chief, on Friday bid adieu on his last working day at the Supreme Court.

Known for his integrity, hard work and judicial reticence, 65-year-old Justice Kapadia was part of the bench that gave its opinion on Presidential Reference on allocation of natural resources on Thursday, holding that auction is not the only route for giving them away.

An expert on tax laws, Justice Kapadia, who completes 22 years of judicial career, had a word of advice for judges asking them to be objective and professional.

At a farewell function for him at the Supreme Court premises, he received accolades from the Chief Justice-designate Altamas Kabir who described him as a man full of wisdom, self-imposed discipline and loved by many people as he stood by what he decided and is a true replica of Abraham Lincoln.

Justice Kabir recalled that once Justice Kapadia said "integrity is his only asset". He said that can be the catchline but he had qualities which were much more than integrity as a judge.

Justice Kapadia, who is to demit office on Saturday, pronounced several path-breaking verdicts during his nine year tenure as a judge and as CJI.

Among them are upholding the right to education act, evolving doctrine of postponement for media reporting, Vodafone tax case, interlinking of rivers, CBI probe in the Karnataka mining scam and quashing the appointment of PJ Thomas as CVC chief.

He gave a very strong dissenting verdict on Lallu Yadav's disproportionate case in which he held that the Bihar government's plea against acquittal of RJD chief was maintainable. In his farewell speech, Justice Kapadia praised judges in the country saying that they can match the best in the world.

"I am saying so because as a judge I visited some foreign countries. We have some of the best judges and I can say with all authority at my command that they are the best in the world," he said.

Justice Kapadia was born on September 29, 1947 in a poor Parsi family. His father was an electrician and he worked as as a fourth class employee during his college days to meet the expenses.

Becoming the first Chief Justice born in independent India, Justice Kapadia was enrolled as an Advocate in 1974 and practiced in the Bombay High Court.

He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court on October 8, 1991 and made a Permanent Judge on March 23, 1993.

He was elevated to the Supreme Court of India on December 18, 2003 and was appointed the CJI on May 12, 2010.

(Agencies)

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