Forty Years Ago, December 8, 1977: New Law Panel Chief

Besides the chairman, the commission will consist of two other members, but they will be appointed in consultation with Justice Khanna after he formally assumes office.

By: Editorials | Published: December 8, 2017 12:20 am
The Indian Express Front Page of December 8, 1977. The Indian Express Front Page of December 8, 1977. (Express Archive)

H.R. Khanna, former judge of the Supreme Court, is being appointed chairman of the Law Commission, it is learnt. Justice Khanna, it may be recalled, resigned when Justice M.H. Beg was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, after the retirement of the Chief Justice A.N. Ray. Besides the chairman, the commission will consist of two other members, but they will be appointed in consultation with Justice Khanna after he formally assumes office.

Urs’s New Demand

In the name of Indira Gandhi, Devaraj Urs, chief minister Karnataka, once again brought the Congress to the brink of a split and towards the formation of a new regional party in the South. In a letter addressed to Y.B. Chavan, leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party, Urs demanded that Congress’s problems in Karnataka and also in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Tripura should be discussed and resolved “in consultation with Smt Indira Gandhi”. The reaction from the Brahmananda Reddi-Chavan camp to Urs’ letter was the Karnataka chief minister had lost his final chance “to wriggle out of his tight corner”. He refused to meet Chavan or Kamalapati Tripathi, deputed to meet him and resolve the Karnataka dispute through a “compromise formula”.

Summons For Indira

Indira Gandhi’s day of reckoning before the Shah Commission is at hand. The Commission has decided to summon her on January 4 or 5 in connection with two cases — the non-confirmation of some high court judges and the punitive CBI action against four officials who were collecting information for Parliament about Maruti. While she is on the stand, Mrs Gandhi may be asked to throw light on a sensational new development — the mysterious disappearance of the original proclamation of the Emergency signed by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. The Shah Commission’s investigators were unable to locate the original document.

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