Guwahati: “If one man’s bleeding can stop the bleeding of Assam, than it’s worth [it],” Dr F Ahmed recalled about his father-in-law Justice Baharul Islam at a memorial meet-cum-book launch at the Vivekananda Kendra Auditorium in Uzanbazar, Guwahati on Wednesday.
Organised by the North Eastern Justice Baharul Islam Foundation for Law, Justice & Social Welfare (NEJBIF) in association with Gauhati High Court Bar Association, the event launched the book ‘Selected Works of Jurist-Statesman Justice Baharul Islam’ commemorating the life and works of the lauded former judge of the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice AS Bopanna of Gauhati High Court, Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy of High Court of Kerala, former Chief Justice of High Courts of Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim Dr. Aftab Hussain Saikia, and Dhiresh Narayan Choudhury, former judge of Gauhati High Court were also present at the launch, among others.
A three-time Parliamentarian, former Justice of the Supreme Court of India and former Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, Justice Islam was a widely acclaimed jurist and statesman, both at the state and Central levels.
The late Justice juggled between being a Rajya Sabha member and a judge, wherein he impacted the legal arena and the social sphere of Assam.
Nazrul Islam, the oldest son of the late Justice, said, his father died in 1993 and his mother, in 2006, following which they found a note in a book, where she expressed her wish for publishing their father’s autobiography and works. Though 13 years later, the book was launched on Wednesday with seven sections: his autobiography titled ‘The story of my struggle’, followed by his foreign travels, articles, speeches, parliamentary speeches, selected interviews and new reports, and concluded with the addendum which features all the condolence message for the late Justice.
Justice Dr Aftab Hussain Saikia, spoke at lengths about the virtues of Late Justice Baharul Islam which made him a looked upon judge and a person. He said that Justice Islam during the late 1970 wrote a judgment on Triple Talaq calling upon the need for arbitration for reconciliation, failing which, on the day of the final and third talaq, the divorce is finalised under Islamic Law. Justic Saikia said, this judgment was reflected in the Supreme Court’s landmark 2017 judgment whereby it struck down instant triple talaq.
Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, Justice AS Bopanna said, a parliamentarian should be a good speaker and a judge should be a good listener, and Late Justice Baharul Islam very well managed the dual role.
Calling the parliamentarian and jurist the “Illustrious son of Assam,” Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Chief Justice of Kerala High Court remembered the time when as a young lawyer, watched Justice Islam in the court.
Roshan Farhan, organising committee member, remarked: “We are honoured to have this event in memory of Justice Baharul Islam, the book sheds insights on his remarkable career, landmark legal judgements, and immense contribution to public life”.
The occasion also saw many other praises in memory of Late Justice Islam by several contemporaries from the Judiciary.