The Delhi high court on Friday bid farewell to Justice Mukta Gupta, who once represented the Delhi Police in the prosecution of some important criminal cases, including the Jessica Lal murder, Naina Sahni murder, (known as Tandoor case), Nitish Katara murder, and those related to the 2001 Parliament attack, before being elevated as a judge.
Justice Gupta was also engaged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as a special counsel to represent the agency in cases such as the Priyadarshini Mattoo murder, Madhumita Sharma and the case concerning the Naval War Room leak.
Justice Gupta assumed the office of a judge of the Delhi high court on October 23, 2009, and during her tenure of more than a decade, she delivered several decisions on criminal law, civil law, commercial law and law related to Intellectual Property and arbitration.
In her full court farewell reference organised on her retirement later this month, justice Gupta said she always tried to dispose of the maximum cases, sharing that in the last one year of her tenure, she disposed of nearly 300 custody appeals while heading a division bench.
She also said that her involvement in the rescue and rehabilitation of more than 300 minor destitute girls from old Delhi’s GB Road changed her thought process.
“I shaped myself into their protector, psychologist, trainer and above all, a mother. I now have more than one daughter to look after,”justice Gupta said as she broke down in tears during her address.
She also observed that judges do not do charity when they grant relief and it is the litigant’s right that is recognised by the court. She said that she did not see judging as a “divine duty”, and upheld the Constitution during her tenure.
“For me, judging was not like performing a divine duty. Judges while granting relief don’t do charity. It is the right of the litigant which the court recognises,” she said.
Born on June 28, 1961, justice Gupta did her LLB from Campus Law Centre of Delhi University in 1983.
In 2021, judge Gupta pulled up the Uttar Pradesh Police for arresting and taking away two persons– the brother and father of a boy who got married to a girl against her family’s wishes — in an alleged kidnapping case, without informing Delhi Police, and said such illegal acts are not permissible and will not be tolerated.
In the same year, she also transferred the investigation in the alleged murder of Tihar inmate Ankit Gujjar to the CBI, saying he lost his life to custodial violence .