A full court reference was held in memory of Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer on January 7, 2015 at 10.30 am in the Supreme Court. Senior Advocate and President of SCBA, Mr. Dushyant A. Dave delivered an eloquent speech on the occasion.
In his speech, Mr. Dushyant A. Dave remembered Justice Iyer as ‘one of the greatest son’s of India’ and ‘a legend, a phenomenon, a one man army against injustices and upholder of all just causes and above all a great humanist.’
His speech had quotes from PB Shelley, MaharshiAurobindo, Henry Brougham and Tagore etc. Mr. Dave also quoted Chief Justice PD Desai, he in 1991 had said, “Justice Krishna Iyyer needs no introduction. Such is his contribution to the progressive development of law for the attainment of the constitutional goals that not only the legal fraternity but also the common man knows him and holds him in high regard.” Even an Australian judge, Justice Kirby had said, “Not many judges can speak and write with the power that V.R. Krishna Iyyer commands. He is obviously a poet, writing in prose.”
Mr. Dave also quoted from the judgments delivered by Justice Iyer himself. In BabulalMuljibhai Patel vs.NandlalKhodidasBarot (1974) 2 SCC 706, Justice Iyer had said, “This systematic prolixity highlights the need, in this country, where litigation is notoriously dilatory and docket backlog in courts explosive, for developing better business management methods in the forensic area, more modern “methodology” and streamlining of procedure, lest the people should get disenchanted with that noble institution, the Judicature, whose credibility is the corner-stone of the rule of law and of organized government.”
Regarding equity, Justice Iyer in RoshanlalKuthalia vs. R.B.Mohan Singh Oberoi (1975) 4 SCC 628 had said, “After all, equity is the humanist weapon in the Court’s armory whereby broad justice may be harmonized with harsh law ….….” Mr Dave in his speech also quoted various judgments delivered by Justice Iyer on various aspects of law.
Highlighting the almost exclusive manner in which Justice Iyer wrote, Mr. Dave quoted Madhya Pradesh vs. Shri Ram Raghuvir Prasad Agarwal (1979) 4 SCC 686 in which Justice Iyer had said, “If King Midas suffered from the course of turning into gold everything he touched, Indo-Anglian legalism suffers from the pathology of making mystiques of simple words of common usage when they are found in the Corpus Juris. We cannot afford this luxury of legalistics, the besetting sin of law-in-action.”
Mr. Dave also remembered the fact that Justice Iyer had the highest regard for the Bar and even said, “The dynamics of the judicial process depend on a shared bench – bar vision, mission and passion.”
Pointing to the fact that the wisdom and philosophy of Justice Iyer will continue to guide all of us, Mr. Dave said, “His life, his philosophy, his jurisprudence, his activism, his love for the common man and his unending quest to deliver justice are some of the different dimensions which were opened to us in his lifetime and will continue to guide us in his death. We must reconcile to his Death with clear knowledge that he will live forever for us.”
You may read more of our coverage of Justice Krishna Iyer here.