Covid-19 pandemic helped everyone to evolve, left imprint in different ways: Justice Hima Kohli

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Covid-19 pandemic has helped everyone to evolve and left an imprint on their lives in different ways, Delhi High Court Judge Hima Kohli Monday said.

Justice Kohli was speaking at her farewell from the Delhi High Court on her elevation as Chief Justice of Telangana High Court.

The Delhi High Court, which has been functioning through video conferencing since March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, conducted a virtual farewell for its senior judge.

Delhi High Court Chief Justice D N Patel, other judges and lawyers bid farewell to 61-year-old Justice Kohli, who became judge in May 2006 and will be the first woman Chief Justice of Telangana High Court.

Justice Kohli described the Covid-19 pandemic as a testing time and thanked Justice Patel for his valuable guidance and support.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has helped each one of us to evolve in every manner and to realise how we have complicated our lives and how it can be simplified. It has also brought us closer to our families with whom we have been able to spend quality time while working from home,” she said, adding that she misses partying with court staff and sitting together with colleagues which had stopped during the pandemic.

“We have reinvented us in these tough times” and “Covid-19 has left an imprint on all of us in different ways”, she said.

The judge said Covid-19 has left farewells and reference on virtual mode but “that does not mean it makes me any less emotional than it would have been had we met physically. The feelings are deep and will remain the same. The nostalgia is overwhelming”.

“While preparing to don a new role in a new high court I shall carry the ethos and culture of this high court and I shall return here in the canteen with a cup of tea at the first opportunity I shall get. In the meantime please permit me to extend an invitation to all of you to visit Hyderabad in the near future. I will be delighted to see you there,” she said, while concluding her speech.

Sharing her experiences at her farewell, Justice Kohli said when she had joined the bar in 1984 there were a handful of women lawyers in the high court and establishing an independent practice was tough and clients who are mostly men gravitated to a male lawyers.

However good a woman lawyer is at work, she has to make her way. That is where the challenge lies and the benchmark for a woman lawyer is a notch higher, she said.

She was appointed as the Chairperson of a High Powered Committee constituted by Delhi government in March 2020, in pursuance to the Supreme Court’s order for decongestion of jails in all states and union territories in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Apart from performing her official duties as a judge, she used to take a keen interest in promoting mediation as an alternative dispute resolution forum, in highlighting the role of the judiciary in preservation of the ecology and environment and the role of family courts in resolving family disputes.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

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