Motivational Story – Justice Hans Raj Khanna who stood against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi & her Emergency decision

When Indira Gandhi lost her election case on June 12, 1975, she was granted only conditional stay which meant that she could not exercise her voting or speaking powers in the Lok Sabha and became just a nominal prime minister. She immediately declared a state of internal emergency. This gave her the authority to rule by decree, which allowed her to suspend elections and civil liberties. This type of rule is often used by dictators. Justice Khanna was the only judge in a five-member bench to go against the decision that if a person is ill-treated or his family members are detained without legal authority, he can’t approach the court for any justice and there is no remedy to this situation. While all the other four agreed to this contention and supported the government, Khanna maintained that the state had no power to deprive a person of his life and liberty without legal authority. In his dissent, Khanna said, “What is at stake is the rule of law… the question is whether the law speaking through the authority of the Court shall be absolutely silenced and rendered mute…” The court went by the majority.

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