Justice S H Kapadia former Chief Justice of India expired on 4th January 2016 in Mumbai at the age of 68. He was born in a poor family with abject poverty. At one time he had to survive with a little food being provided by the roadside peanut seller. He started his career as a class IV employee of the High Court. It is astonishing and inspiring that he rose from the lowest category employee to the highest rank in Indian Judiciary. He gave priority to work, set goals for himself, did not mind dismantling systems which could breed corruption, detested indiscipline and frowned upon unnecessary expenditure and corruption in any government department. He propounded the principle of “institutional integrity”.
He did not take leave even for a day in his about 22-year-long career as a judge. Once suffered a fracture as a Bombay High Court judge but he was in court next day with plaster. He was a man of duty and impeccable character and was popular for his uncompromising stand on principles. He practiced what he preached. In his retirement speech he said, ‘I have done my duty and done no more’.
Justice S.H. Kapadia stands out as a man of duty. I am reminded of the Bible verse which says, “So you also, when you have done everything commanded of you, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'” (Luke 17:10). Duty commands us to look neither to the right, nor to the left, but straight onward. Every act of duty is an act of faith. It is performed in the assurance that God will take care of the consequences. One of the scout promises is, “On my honor, I promise, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country.”
Quote: “Activate yourself to duty by remembering your position, who you are, and what you have obliged yourself to be.” – Thomas a Kempis