The Chief Justice of India, N.V. Ramana, said on Saturday that Allahabad High Court judge Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha’s judgment in 1975 disqualifying Indira Gandhi from holding the post of Prime Minister for electoral malpractices had shook the nation.
Speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony for the UP National Law University and a new building complex of the Allahabad High Court here, the CJI said: “In 1975, it was Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha from the Allahabad High Court who had passed the judgment that shook the nation when he disqualified Indira Gandhi.”
“It was a judgment of great courage, which could be said to have directly resulted in the declaration of Emergency. The consequences of which I do not want to elaborate now,” Ramana added.
The CJI emphasised that the Allahabad High Court has a history of more than 150 years and the Bar and Bench have produced some of the greatest legal luminaries of the country.
He said Sachchidanand Sinha, the first President of the Constituent Assembly, Pandit Motilal Nehru, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru and Purushottam Das Tandon were all members of the Allahabad Bar.
“This Bar had left an indelible mark in India’s freedom struggle and the drafting of our Constitution. I expect you to carry forward the extraordinary legacy, tradition and culture of this historic bar. I urge you all to take a lead in protecting the rights, liberties and freedoms of the citizens,” he said.
However, the CJI also said that huge pendency of criminal cases at the high court is “very worrying”.
“I do not want to point any fingers or lay any blame regarding the pendency in the Allahabad High Court relating to criminal cases, which is very worrying. I request the Allahabad Bar and Bench to work together and cooperate to resolve this issue,” he said.
The CJI said that it was President Ram Nath Kovind’s idea to translate the judgments of the Supreme Court to vernacular languages to increase access to justice, which has now been implemented.
“Whenever we meet, he (The President) always asks me about the welfare of the legal fraternity. He is always thinking of improving the legal aid system for the under privileged people. The President was kind enough to ask me to visit Lucknow and Allahabad during his tenure. I am extremely grateful for his kind gesture of facilitating my visit to these two historic cities,” Ramana said.
Ealier, President Kovind laid the foundation stone for the UP National Law University and a new building complex of the Allahabad High Court here in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Governor Anandiben Patel, several judges of the top court and other dignitaries.