The most moving moment for Justice S Muralidhar as a judge of the Delhi High Court was on July 2, 2009, when a bench involving him scrapped the penal provision which criminalised sexual intercourse between two consenting adults of same sex.
Justice Muralidhar, who was bid farewell from the Delhi High Court on Thursday, said at the time of pronouncing the judgement, he and the then Chief Justice of the high court AP Shah knew that something "irreversible" had happened.
The judge, who will move to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said: "The relief that swept through the courtroom amongst those waiting to hear the verdict was palpable. Many broke down right here in front of us".
Going back to nearly 11 years, Justice Muralidhar said, "The most moving moment as a judge was in this very court sitting where I am today when on July 2, 2009, (then) Chief Justice AP Shah and I delivered our judgement in NAZ Foundation (case).
"Even as we held that consensual same sex between adults in private was not a crime, the relief that swept through the courtroom amongst those waiting to hear the verdict was palpable. Many broke down right here in front of us."
Retired Justice AP Shah was also present in the high court at the farewell event of Justice Muralidhar.
Bar Council of Delhi chairman KK Mittal said Justice Muralidhar is a human rights champion.
Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra termed Justice Muralidhar as a "highly intellectual, courageous, upright and incorruptible judge".