ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Supreme Court

Then and Now

There is a tendency to view the threat to judicial independence in India as emerging from the executive branch, and occasionally the legislature. But when persons within the judiciary become pliable to the other branches, it is a different story altogether.

This article is a slightly shortened and edited version of a lecture in memory of late Justice Hosbet Suresh titled “The Supreme Court in Decline: Forgotten Freedoms and Eroded Rights” delivered on 18 September 2020. It was organised collectively by the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Bohra Youth Sansthan, Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community, Citizens for Justice and Peace, Institute for Islamic Studies, People’s Watch and Majlis Legal Centre. The lecture was chaired by senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, President, Supreme Court Bar Association. The Dr Asghar Ali Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred posthumously on Justice Hosbet Suresh during the event.

When I was informed that Justice Hosbet Suresh was going to be posthumously awarded the Dr Asghar Ali Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award, it struck me that there could be no better person for this recognition.

I was fortunate to have met Asghar Ali Engineer once, and of course, known and appeared before Justice Suresh several times. Both men were similar in many ways. Both were activists in their own right. Engineer was a reformist and fought for change in the Dawoodi Bohra community, and his valuable contributions to studies in peace, non-violence and communal harmony are well-regarded. Equally, Justice Suresh was known, especially in his three decades of public life after retirement, for his path-breaking contributions to the human rights space. Whenever there were instances or occasions of human rights violations, Justice Sureshs wisdom, presence and support always made an appearance. 

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Published On : 12th Jan, 2024

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