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SC Justice Vikramjit Sen retires, will pronounce Kerala bar verdict in vacations, on 30 December

Justice Vikramajit Sen of the Supreme Court, who is retiring on 30 December, has told reporters that he would pronounce the verdict in the Kerala Bar licence case on or before the last day of his tenure. ([Read a reporthere]).

It appears that he has completed dictation of the judgment, and is going to deliver it in a special sitting during vacation, after ascertaining the convenience of his brother judge on the bench, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh.

This will be a rare instance when a retiring judge chooses a day during the vacation to pronounce a judgment.

Justice Sen has also referred to the importance of the judgment to the people of Kerala, as the state government’s liquor policy restricting the issue of bar licences to the five star hotels has come under challenge as being discriminatory first in the high court and later in the Supreme Court in the form of an appeal by the association of bar hotels in the state.

Justice Sen’s gesture in issuing a clarification - amidst speculation about the fate of the judgment - has been appreciated by many. There was concern and anxiety among counsel that if he retires without delivering the judgment, the case would have to be reheard again by another bench, involving considerable loss of the court’s time and resources.

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