Judge who jumped into the lake

By Naomi N Published on Aug 18, 2018 03:42 PM IST

Chennai: In 2015, a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court made news after diving into a lake to save a young girl from drowning. Cut to now, Chennai is being benefitted by his selfless services.

Meet Justice Jeyapaul (63), a resident of Palavakkam, who, after serving for several years at Madras, Punjab and Haryana courts, is now actively involved in developing his area - Palavakkam.

Speaking to 'News Today', he says, "Post-retirement, a lot of assignments came my way, like arbitration and Lok Adalat work, which most retired judges do. But I wanted to serve society and, hence, did not take up such work."

It was the state of VGP Layout that suffered from battered roads, lack of drainage and, importantly, the poorly-maintained beach, that prompted him to devote his time and experience towards the neighbourhood's cause.

He subsequently became the president of Palavakkam Beach Walkers Welfare Association and began developing the beach, even as residents felt that if a high-profile person was in the scheme of things, civic work would move at a swifter pace.

Justice Jeyapaul

"When things began working positively, my neighbours gave me the responsibility of the VGP Layout Golden Seaview Residents Welfare Association.

Earlier, too, there was a group taking up such issues, but it was alleged that officials weren't responsive. But now, we are being heard', he says.

So does that mean that only when a personality who has power and popularity can get officials to do their job?

‘It could be true’, he replies, adding that he too encourages influential people to engage in such activities.

With the efforts of his association, regular campaigns are held for school students to keep the beaches clean and not leave plastic on the sea shore.

'Recently, we have got new benches, while hawkers and vendors have been removed to a spot nearby. A resident got saplings too planted here', he notes.

So what is his modus operandi to get things done?

‘We send a representation in writing, if it is not responded or not positive, we will send a registered notice with a deadline to higher officials', he explains.

He can be contacted over [email protected]