Justice Katju pays tribute to Justice Manoj Kumar Mukherjee

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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Former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Manoj Kumar Mukherjee Passes Away At The Age Of 87.

Justice M.K. Mukherjee

By Justice Markandey Katju

I was sad to learn of the demise of Justice Manoj Kumar Mukherjee on 17th April ( through the video given below ).

He was a Judge of Calcutta High Court, but was later transferred as Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, and he gave me the oath as a Judge of Allahabad High Court in 1991. So I had a special bond with him.

Later, he became a Judge of the Supreme Court. After he retired from the Supreme Court he once came from Kolkata to Allahabad.

This was some time between August and November 2004 when I was the Acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court ( before being sent as CJ of Madras High Court ).

I telephoned him and said that I had made arrangements that while at Allahabad he would not stay at the Circuit House ( where retired Judges were normally accommodated ) but at the huge official residence of the Chief Justice, where he had previously lived. I also said I had ordered that while at Allahabad he would again get all the facilities of the Chief Justice such as secretaries, jamadar, peons, cars, etc.

In other words, except for the judicial and administrative powers, he would again become our Chief Justice. I ordered the Registrar of the High Court to place Justice Mukherjee’s old staff when he was the CJ here at his disposal during his stay at Allahabad.

When Justice and Mrs Mukherjee arrived at the Chief Justice’s residence in Allahabad, I was personally present at the porch of the building, and I myself opened the door of his car ( because I still regarded him my Chief Justice ).

He and his wife were not only delighted to see me, but also his former secretaries, jamadar Pandey, peons, gardener, etc.

Throughout their stay in Allahabad ( I think it was for 3 days ) they stayed at the Chief Justice’s residence. Justice Mukherjee’s former secretaries attended to him, and made his appointments, while his other former staff served him and his wife. Many of his former colleagues and friends came to meet him at the Chief Justice’s residence, and he and his wife went to their places too.

Mrs Mukherjee was particularly delighted to see the garden in the Chief Justice’s residence with beautiful flowers which she herself had created when her husband was the CJ at Allahabad, in full bloom.

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