Following the Kesavananda Bharati case, in which the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament’s right to amend the Constitution didn’t include the right to tamper with its basic structure, Indira Gandhi appointed Justice A.N. Ray as chief justice in 1973, superceding his seniors. The issue created a furore and the government was accused of trying to establish a “committed judiciary”. In this context, Jayaprakash Narayan asked for a parliamentary committee to formulate guidelines on the CJI’s appointment. “Appointment of the CJI is now entirely in the hands of the prime minister. There are no rules laid down for consultation with legal experts, Parliament or legislatures,” he said. JP warned that committed judges were loyal to the ruling authorities. Justice Ray remained the CJI during the Emergency.
A report from Raipur says a famine stalked villages in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhattisgarh region and that people were migrating to cities in search of jobs and food. Many villagers had been reduced to begging. The crisis started the previous September. A farmer says if the government had released water from a tank on time, his village would have been spared.
A report quotes Radio Bangladesh saying China may soon recognise Bangladesh. A senior Chinese diplomat reportedly told Dacca that diplomatic relations could soon be established between the two countries. Bangladesh declared independence in March 1971 and Pakistan surrendered in December, but China had refused to recognise the new state.
Pol Pot killings
US intelligence announced that thousands of people loyal to the pre-communist regime in Cambodia were killed by the Khmer Rouge. The reports were confirmed later.