When was the last time you took a day off work? Not because there was anything pressing or you were ill. But because you just didn't feel like going to work? Last week? Last month? A year ago?
Right, now think of this person. He took up what is easily the most important assignment in his life -- heck, in his country's history -- in March 1996. He did not take a single day off till the last week of June 2007. And that too because he slipped and fractured his arm and some strict doctor grounded him for a week.
While you do the math, say hello to Special TADA Court Judge Pramod Dattaram Kode.
In 2007, history was made as Judge Kode began delivering convictions and sentences to 123 people in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case. This was the first-ever instance where the perpetrators of a major terror attack were brought to book.
In the 14 years it took to wrap the case, Judge Kode had rushed to the court on the day his father died -- hastily performing the last rites -- and did not even take leave on the day his mother passed away.
The judge who sent 12 men to the gallows and handed out lifers to 20 others also showed his humane side, permitting convicts to go on Haj, and allowing small comforts like fans and television sets the inmates one of the country's highest security prisons.
Judge Kode (he has Rs 25 lakh insurance cover) also sacrificed his social life, as a Z-plus security cover meant he was tied to his south Mumbai home barring the occasional visit to the Sai Baba shrine in Shirdi.
The next time you think justice, think Judge Kode, the man who proved that not always is delayed justice denied justice.
Photograph: Arun Patil
Also read: Rs 25 lakh insurance for TADA Judge Kode
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