Neither Roses nor Thorns – H.R. Khanna
(30th Anniversary Edition)
When Justice Khanna delivered his dissenting judgement in the famous Habeas Corpus case, the New York Times in an editorial wrote about him : “If India ever finds its way back to freedom and democracy that proud hallmark of its first 18 years, someone will surely erect a monument to justice H.R. Khanna of the Supreme Court.“
In this forthright autobiography of his life, Justice Khanna lays bare the influences that shaped his life and made him the great man that he is. An outstanding judge and jurist, an undaunted man of conviction and independent views, Justice Khanna’s life is one for every Indian to emulate today, and his autobiography for every Indian to read.
- Indian Judicial Reports:
The reason for writing this autobiography as given by the author is quite simple yet persuasive. He thinks : ‘he has a tale to tell which may be of interest to others’. Written in very simple, cogent and lucid manner, the story of Justice Khanna offers an intelligent and refreshing material. Devoid of complexities and egoistic assertions, the contents bear freshness and serenity. The author, Justice H.R.Khanna, will be remembered in the annals of Indian Judiciary as one of the most outstanding and courageous judge. It was he alone who, by his bold dissenting opinion in Habeas Corpus case attempted to revive the otherwise suspended fundamental rights of citizens during the emergency era. Indeed Justice Khanna reached his finest glory and highest judicial wisdom when he held: “The suspension of the right to enforce Article 21 could not have greater effect than the repeal of Article 21.”
One can learn from reading the book that during his 25 silvery years of judicial career, he rendered many epoch making judgements which became milestones.
- Cuttack Law Times:
His autobiography is full of picturesque scenes of social reality and judicial attitudes. The individual faiths and principles versus the circumstantial forces or situations, pulls and pressures, is the theme of the story of Mr. Khanna’s life that is depicted in the book. Every lover of justice, every worshipper of individual liberty should read the book to strengthen one’s faith.
- All India Reporter:
The book under review is a bouquet of roses having thorns as well, the bouquet essentially meaning the compilation of different articles by the author. The articles though related to different topics can be said to have blossomed from a single type of bud; the bud being the memories of the author.
‘Neither Roses Nor Thorns’ reveals a man who is deeply thoughtful, gentle and firm of purpose, of strong moral principles without being flamboyant or even mildly demonstrative. Those of us, who have known Khanna, in or outside judicial office, have found him pleasant and warm of heart. As a man who sacrificed the highest honour that a person in the judicial profession in this country can aspire to and did not project himself as a hero, the author of ‘Neither Roses Nor Thorns’ must belong to a very tiny minority indeed. No wonder he has won such abounding public esteem in the 10 years since he retired form the Supreme Court.
Justice Khanna, who in the words of an eminent columnist, is so clean a man that he makes angels look dishevelled and dirty.