My Early Days at Allahabad 1951 – 1956
During my days at Allahabad where I was a salesman in a Law Bookshop at University Road, my duty was to visit the Lawyers’ Chambers of Practicing Advocates and also to attend the sale counter of the Bookshop where a number of lawyers, teachers and law students frequented. So I got the opportunity of making close contact with this community.
The Allahabad High Court has a unique distinction for producing eminent lawyers, learned Judges and galaxy of talents like Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Pt. Motilal Nehru, Shri Kailash Nath Katju, and many notable Jurists. Dr. Katju, after he joined the Bar at the Allahabad High Court, rose to the top rank of successful lawyers. Having been influenced by Gandhiji, he left his lucrative practice to join the Independence movement and closely worked with Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru and Sardar Patel. I had a great desire to meet him but did not get an opportunity because when I started my career in 1951, Dr. Katju was the Union Home Minister and Law Minister. When I shifted to Delhi in 1956 he was the Union Defence Minister and thereafter he became the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh in January 1957. After I shifted to Delhi, I used to visit Allahabad very frequently. Fortunately I got the opportunity to see Dr. Katju when he delivered his speech on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Allahabad High Court Building in November 1966.
I recall some notable lawyers who were then practicing in the High Court and I had the opportunity of knowing them personally. Pt. Kanhaiya Lal Misra, a renowned Advocate-General; Shri K.N. Singh who rose to become the Chief Justice of India; Mr. C.S. Saran, a known criminal lawyer; Shri R.M. Sahai who later became the Judge of the Supreme Court; Shri R.S. Pathak who rose to become the Chief Justice of India; Mr. T.N. Sapru (Grandson of Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru); Mr. S.N. Mulla, a renowned lawyer practising on the criminal side; Shri Raja Ram Aggarwal who later became the Advocate-General; Shri Shanti Bhushan who later assumed leadership and became the Union Minister of Law; Mr. S.N. Kackar, who later became the Union Minister of Law & Justice; Shri Satish Chander Khare, a renowned lawyer; Shri V.K.S. Choudhary, a known author of books on Revenue Law who later became the Advocate-General; Shri Jagdish Swarup who held the office of Solicitor-General of India.
I still recall some law students who frequented that shop where I was a salesman during the period 1951-1956. To name a few,—
Justice Rangnath Misra (former Chief Justice of India) was then doing LL.M.; Shri Milon Kumar Banerjee (former Attorney-General for India) after doing B.Sc. LL.B. joined Cambridge to obtain degree in International Law. On his return he started his practice at the Allahabad High Court. Shri Vishwanath Pratap Singh (our former Prime Minister) was a law student and very active in Allahabad University Students’Union; Dr. Subhash Kashyap (former Secretary-General, Lok Sabha) was then pursuing LL.B., LL.M. and was elected the President of Students’ Union; Justice J.S. Verma (former Chief Justice of India) after doing B.Sc. did his LL.B. there.
At Allahabad, I was actively associated with various religious, social and welfare bodies entrusted to serve the society. I had the opportunity of meeting face-to-face some great persons like Shri M.S. Golwalkar, then head of R.S.S. known as “Parampoojniya Guru ji”; Prof. Rajinder Singh, a Science Teacher at the Allahabad University – known as “Rajju Bhaiya”; Shri Suryakant Tripathi, a writer and Hindi Poet/Kavi known as “Nirala Ji”; Shrimati Mahadevi Verma, then Principal of Prayag Mahila Vidyapeth; Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan, then a teacher at the Allahabad University and a known Hindi Kavi; Faiz Ahmed ‘Faiz’ and Firaq Gorakhpuri – both eminent Urdu Poets.