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GANDHIJI AS A JURIST

Gandhiji’s views regarding the duties and functions of the legal profession must find the first mention in any discussion of his legal philosophy. According to him, though a lawyer must do his very best for his client, he ought not so to identify himself with his client as to transgress the principles of truth and justice. In his very early life, Gandhiji learnt a bitter lesson when he tried to plead with the Political Agent for his elder brother who, as the legal adviser and secretary to the Ranasaheb . The Political Agent was rude to Gandhiji in this matter and Gandhiji was much embittered by the treatment received by him but ultimately accepted the wholesome advice of Sir Pherozeshah Mehta not to do anything rash. Gandhiji always regarded that over and above the interests of his clients, he had a prior and perpetual retainer on behalf of truth and justice. That led to his developing certain rules of conduct which he scrupulously followed.
Excerpts from the speech delivered by Justice B N Gokhale on July 1, 1963 at a symposium organised by Gandhi Samarak Nidhi at Bombay.

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