In the excellent article “A courageous voice of dissent” (March 19) V.R Krishna Iyer has paid a fitting tribute to the legal luminary, H.R. Khanna, who wrote judgments without fear or favour. Justice Khanna even sacrificed his future as Chief Justice by writing a dissenting judgment in the habeas corpus case.

In Justice Khanna’s passing, the judiciary has lost a towering personality who braved the carking cares and corroding anxieties while discharging his duties.

Nemani Vivekananda Rao,


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Justice Iyer’s account of Justice Khanna’s dissent relates to a case in which our judicial system failed to discharge its cardinal function of safeguarding the constitutionally guaranteed and inalienable rights of the people. What Justice Khanna did was what was expected of a judge. What should concern every citizen is that the people had to bear the brunt of executive excesses because the judiciary did not ward them off by striking down the arbitrary edict at the appropriate moment. It was the people, not the court, who ultimately cut the political executive to size.

No other judge should hereafter face Justice Khanna’s painful experience of his colleagues compromising their integrity due to pressure from this or that source. Justice Iyer is eminently suitable to trigger a national debate on the theme.

K.K. Harikuttan,