Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra, who is retiring on Wednesday, has declined an invitation for a farewell ceremony by the bar citing "severe situation and sufferings the world over" because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Justice Mishra, who became judge in Supreme Court on July 7, 2014, is leaving office on Tuesday and is all set to deliver key judgments in cases including the timelines for payment of dues to the government by telecom companies and the sentencing of activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan in a contempt case.
The Supreme Court Bar Association and the Confederation of Indian Bar had extended the invitations for the farewell functions to the outgoing judge.
"I am grateful for your kind invitation inviting me in the farewell function... I have always considered the bar as the mother of the judiciary, and it would have been a great pleasure to attend said function," he said in a note.
"However, taking into consideration the severe situation and sufferings the world over on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, my conscience does not permit me to participate in any farewell function," Justice Mishra wrote declining the requests.
He, however, assured them that he would visit the bar to pay his respects when the situation improves.
Justice Mishra's note comes days after a controversy surrounding his farewell. Amid reports that a section of the bar had refused to give him a farewell, the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association had firmly denied the claims and said the circular that was being cited was fake.
The bar had even passed a resolution for a farewell function for Justice Mishra who was known for not attending many public events.
(With inputs from PTI)