Justice Khanna, dissenting voice during Emergency, dead
NEW DELHI: Justice H R Khanna - who, despite being the lone dissenting voice in a five-judge SC Bench, fearlessly upheld supremacy of citizens' fundamental right to life as against the state's brute might during the gloomy days of Emergency - died in his sleep on Monday.
He was 95. When the government and its agents were hounding people and detaining them without reason as fundamental rights were suspended after declaration of emergency, the HCs played a stellar role in granting relief to the arrested persons, directing their release under the writ of habeas corpus.
The government did not like it and moved the SC. A five-judge Bench of Chief Justice A N Ray and Justices Khanna, M H Beg, Y V Chandrachud and P N Bhagwati, by 4:1 majority, decided to accept the government's stand that even if a policeman shot a person because of personal enmity, the kin would have no remedy before the courts.
Indiavikalp salutes Justice H.R. Khanna for his value for human life and freedoms and as Indians we owe whatever freedoms we have to persons such as him who dared to dissent.