His verdict was responsible for the abolition of Mulki Rules

His verdict was responsible for the abolition of Mulki Rules

Chinnappa Reddy was the youngest of the legendary quartet of SC Hyderabad: Known for his legal acumen and...

Chinnappa Reddy was the youngest of the legendary quartet of SC chinapaHyderabad: Known for his legal acumen and far-sighted and proactive judicial pronouncements, Justice O Chinnappa Reddy, has authored many a landmark judgments that defined in part the modern constitution of India. A man, who made it to the Highest Court of India, hailed from a remote village � Gooty in Anantapur district. A legal luminary sans showmanship, he remained always an icon of humility and simplicity. He was said to be the youngest of legendary quartet of Supreme Court who changed the course of Indian judicial history, the other three being Justice VR Krishna Iyer, PN Bhagawati and DA Desai. He firmly believed that India was a socialist state and its object could be realized only if the Directive Principles of State Policy were given their due. The term socialist state, in his opinion, was equivalent to 'welfare state' in the Indian context. India would cease to be a welfare state if Directive Principles were made subject to Fundamental Rights, he often emphasized. It was his verdict which paved the way for the abolition of "Mulki Rules" of erstwhile Hyderabad state. He termed them as discriminatory and untenable once the state was formed. The validity of the eligibility certificate based on residence for appointment to posts in the Telangana area was challenged in Writ Petitions Nos. 2235, 3907 and 3962 of 1968. He declared them void as the judge of the High Court in his judgment dated February 3, 1969, ( under Section 3 of the Public Employment Act) Justice O Chinnappa Reddy is amongst the most highly respected members if Indian judiciary. Born in 1922, he served as a Judge of the High Courts of Andhra Pradesh and of Punjab & Haryana states from 1967 to 1977. He was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India in 1978, a position he held with great distinction until his retirement in 1987. He has been described as a humanist and activist judge whose contribution to the cause of humanity and to the growth of human rights jurisprudence has been very significant. He is the author of many well-published judgments and an important book entitled "The Court and the Constitution of India: Summits and Shallows" which provides an insight into the role of the Supreme Court of India in interpreting the main themes of the Constitution and in formulating contemporary public law in India. His social perspective was considered highly valuable and he was admired for it. Many of his judgments were still lessons to new judges. Chinnappa Reddy, used to write rather extensively even on minute issues incorporating his views which were never challenged but followed. In that book, he calls on the judiciary to "descend from the ivory towers to the crowded mud huts and littered pavements" and usher in "participative justice" and "people's participation in the judicial process" through judicial activism and public interest litigation so that justice may be brought to the doorstep of people. His strong words in some of the cases of Emergency era mirrored his socialistic tendencies. 'The life and liberty is nobody's gift and certainly not of the state. Supreme Court's working on this case has painfully reached its lowest ebb" he remarked. When the demolition of the Babri Masjid took place he remarked that the Supreme Court acted as a mute spectator. The Court failed to take any positive steps to save the situation, he said. Even in issues such as OBC reservations, Hindutva and on the decisions restricting the right to strike and bandhs, he found fault with the Supreme Court verdicts.
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