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Retiring Supreme Court judge recalls emergency on his retirement day

Justice AK Goel, who had authored the judgment on SC/ST Act, recalled the emergency and how fundamental rights of the citizens were suspended.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2018 23:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Justice AK Goel,Supreme Court,Emergency
A general view of the Supreme Court.(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

Supreme Court judge Justice AK Goel, who had authored the judgement diluting the arrest powers of police in The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, on Friday said he was persuaded to write the verdict by the dissenting view Justice HR Khanna took in the ADM Jabalpur judgement that had upheld the Indira Gandhi government’s imposition of emergency in India.

On his last day in office, Justice Goel recalled the emergency and how fundamental rights of the citizens were suspended. The judge was then a lawyer of two years standing then.

“Even in such time when there was arbitrary power, there was one judge of this court and he happened to be from Punjab, who stood for it and he gave an interpretation that whatever the inactive law is, if there is a court, inherently it will do justice and court will see injustice is not done, no arbitrary action is taken, nobody is arrested.It was exactly that thought present in my mind. There is a provision you can’t grant anticipatory bail. But what I held is supposing the person is falsely accused, what is the forum? Should an innocent be allowed to be arrested,” Justice Goel said. The judge is also from Punjab.

Emergency, he said, had led to assumption of great and unchecked arbitrary power by the police and the administrators. The judge was speaking at a farewell function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association.

First Published: Jul 06, 2018 23:40 IST