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Justice J S Verma 

I met Justice Verma when I was a member in a panel of Jury for PHD Chamber of Commerce in New Delhi. He was the Chairman of that Jury. This was in 2010.

I have read through many of his landmark judgments. His dissenting verdict in the K Veeraswami vs Union of India case was noticeable. He mentioned “the need for an appropriate mechanism to deal with corruption by members of the higher judiciary but stated that the difference is between the law as it is and the law as it should be”. His remarkable observations in cases like S.R Bommai v Union of India, Ayodhya case, Vishaka case, Godman Chandraswami case are very thought provoking. 

18 Jan 1933 - 22 Apr 2013

I met him again in June 2010. I was at the Limca Book of Records 2010 presentation which awarded certain Indian Achievers. And that list included Justice J S Verma too along with cricketeer Rahul Dravid. I was there to receive the award on behalf Sankara Nethralaya which was also one of the awardees.

When I was finishing editing my father’s book - Living with Laws- I telephone Mr. Verma to request him for a review of the book.  He immediately agreed and asked me to meet him at his home. It was then that I realised that he was indeed in my neighbourhood, in the same Sector 39 where I live. So, it was a quick walk to his home, and I met him there. Once the book was complete, I gave him a copy. He was very prompt in reading it and gave a review for this book on 7th January 2011. 

I reproduce this below:

        "Autobiographies are not mere fascinating reading, which quench the thirst to delve into the past through the mirror of successful careers; they are also educative and tend to motivate emulation of the earlier greats. The author fulfils this need by his memoirs. A lucid reminder of the hoary traditions of the legal profession (the Bar and the Bench) is timely and contextual when the shine of the institution is perceived to be lessening.
       The essential traits for honourable success at the Bar, which transmit to the Bench are emphasised by the author's practice and not mere precept. The significance of the book is enhanced by useful comments on some recent important events for preserving the credibility of the judiciary in the current testing times. As the custodian of the Rule of Law, which is the bedrock of democracy, erosion of judiciary's credibility cannot be countenanced.

        The memoirs of this eminent lawyer should be useful to lawyers and laymen alike."

In the aftermath of the Delhi Gang rape, The Justice Verma Committee was formed to recommend suitable reformation of the anti-rape laws in the country. The 630 pages report was done in a record time of just 29 days.  

Justice Verma passed away on 22 April 2013 at the age of 80 years. That was the end of an era of a fine soul who told fresh law graduates of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences while delivering the convocation address, "Each one of you is that 'little drop' who can unite to make the 'rain' needed for the 'monsoon of purity in national character' to revive the parched field."

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