Gandhi Versus the Empire

By Haridas T. Muzumdar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XX
THE SUPREME COURT

This is Mahatma Gandhi's fourth speech at the Round Table Conference, the third before the Federal Structure Committee, delivered on October 23, 1931.

I have omitted one speech of Gandhi's, delivered before the Federal Structure Committee on October 9, 1931, in which he urged Lord Sankey to continue the labors of the Federal Structure Committee regardless of the little headway made by the Minorities Committee and strongly protested against a holiday, saying: "Every minute we have is really pledged to this work and to no other."

In the present speech Gandhi propounds the Congress view of the judiciary of the self-governing India. The Supreme Court or the Federal Court, whatever one chooses to call it, must be an integral part of the responsible government of India and "the process of carrying out the [Court's] writ has also to be made good by the responsible government." "A court which gives judgments should also have perfect confidence that its judgments will be respected by those who are affected by its judgment. . . . Naturally, the enforcement will not rest with the Court; the enforcement will rest with the executive authority, but the executive authority would have to conform to the rules that might be framed by the Court."

The judges are to be appointed not by the British crown but by the supreme executive authority in India. The highest court of appeal, corresponding to the Privy

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