The Confederation of Alumni for National Law Universities Foundation (CAN Foundation) in collaboration with the National Law University, Jodhpur and the Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (GNLU), will host the first Justice HR Khanna Memorial National Symposium on August 14.
The Symposium is being organised to commemorate the colossal persona of Late Justice HR Khanna.
It will be conducted on a virtual platform on August 14, 2021, and will be the first one of its kind that has been undertaken by the Foundation with a pair of NLUs.
The Symposium shall see the presence of Justice UU Lalit (Judge, Supreme Court) as the Chief Guest and Justice V Ramasubramanian (Judge, Supreme Court) as the Presiding Guest.
Speaking about the Session, Siddharth R Gupta on behalf of the CAN Foundation stated,
“Justice Khanna showcased all the virtues that a person in power must have. To stand against all adversities and not yield to external pressures at huge risk of personal loss is something only a rarest of rare souls can achieve. Justice Khanna, being well aware that he was going against the government in power and that he would have to suffer its consequences did not let his personal ambitions come in the way of the good of the country. This Symposium is to honour his legacy and to remind ourselves of the contribution of a Judge who truly saved India’s constitutional framework.”
Justice HR Khanna is widely recognized as the lone dissenter in the habeas corpus case
During his tenure as a Supreme Court Judge, Justice Khanna delivered several landmark judgments that have left an indelible imprint on the Constitutional jurisprudence of the country. His dissenting opinion in ADM Jabalpur v. Shivakant Shukla, that personal liberty is the most precious fundamental right, and cannot be trampled upon even during the Emergency, still serves as an inspiration to combat the tyranny of those in power.
In Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala, wherein there was a tussle between the majority and minority, it was Justice Khanna’s opinion that paved the way for the ‘Basic Structure Doctrine’ and laid down that the Parliament does not possess unbridled power of amending the Constitution.
Further, in Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain, through his concurring opinion, Justice Khanna fortified the ‘Basic Structure Doctrine’ and invalidated the 39th Constitutional Amendment Act to the extent it proscribed judicial intervention in matters of the election of the Prime Minister. Justice Khanna also served as the Chairman of the 8th Law Commission of India.
Justice Khanna is remembered for playing an instrumental role in upholding the true intent of the framers of the Constitution and resigned when he was superseded for the post of Chief Justice of India by the erstwhile government at the Centre.
His portrait in Court No. 2 of the Supreme Court bears testimony to his integrity and the valiant efforts put forth by him towards safeguarding the fundamental tenets of democracy.