In Central Vista Dissent, Justice Khanna Gives Hopes to Many
His uncle Justice Hans Raj Khanna’s sole dissent in the ADM Jabalpur case — where he was the only Supreme Court judge to hold that citizens’ fundamental rights to freedom couldn’t be curtailed by the government except as provided under law — cost him the post of Chief Justice of India but secured for him a permanent place in the hearts of the Indians. Such was the scale of his action that even the New York Times penned a glowing editorial to applaud him.
“If India ever finds its way back to the freedom and democracy that were proud hallmarks of its first eighteen years as an independent nation, someone will surely erect a monument to Justice H. R. Khanna of the Supreme Court,” the NY Times edit said.
Almost 45 years later, Supreme Court judge Sanjiv Khanna’s dissenting view in a 2:1 judgment in the Central Vista case has many applauding him.
For, while today’s dissent may not cost him the post of Chief Justice of India, a post that would come his way in November 2024 when Justice DY Chandrachud retires, Justice Khanna has everyone wondering if he will be the Supreme Court judge finally showing the commitment to stand up for the common citizens and their rights while most of the judges are happy to allow status quo prevail.