KOCHI: “Freedom behind bars is part of our constitutional tryst...If wars are too important to be left to the generals, surely prisoners’ rights are too precious to be left to the jailors,” stated the late Justice V R Krishna Iyer, an unyielding supporter of prisoners’ rights. Four years since the lawyer activist’s death, a photo exhibition was conducted at the High Court of Kerala on Friday.
Conducted by the Sarada Krishna Sadgamaya Foundation, a charitable trust founded by the Justice himself, the exhibition compiled 60 pictures, each, an episode of the great visionary’s life. Ranging from him playing the veena in his leisure time to meeting personalities including the late O N V Kurup, musician and composer late V Dakshinamoorthy, A K Antony MP, former Chief Minister of Kerala V S Achuthanandan, kathakali maestro Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Inaugurated by advocate general C P Sudhakara Prasad, was followed by the Justice V R Krishna Iyer Memorial Law lecture on ‘Federalism in India-Past, Present and Future’, delivered by Justice K M Joseph, Judge, Supreme Court. The lecture that was presided over by Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Chief Justice, High Court of Kerala, was succeeded by the distribution of the Third Justice V R Krishna Iyer Memorial Legal Literary Award for Lawyers.
Born on November 15, 1915, in a village near Palakkad, the lawyer held prestigious positions such as the Former Kerala High Court Judge in 1968, former Supreme Court Judge in 1973 and one of the ministers in the first Communist Government led by E M S Namboodiripad.
Known for the Shamser Singh case that decoded the powers of the cabinet, the Maneka Gandhi case which provided a new facet to Article 21 and Muthamma’s case, Krishna Iyer made justice accessible to the poorest of the poor.
“The experimental exhibition is currently an internal event for lawyers. One for the public and school students will be conducted later,” says advocate K P Pradeep, secretary of the foundation.
The lawyer, who was associated to the late Justice since 2001 from his Post-Graduate studies at Cochin University says,”He is more than a guru,” a line that speaks volumes about the magnanimous personality.