He was asked by the High Court to explain his conduct, He naturally questioned the procedure as irrelevant, but described in a statement the circumstances leading to the decision for non- participation in the inquiry. This is Shri Dasappa said in the course of his statement:

“The Government appointed Justice A. R. Nageswara Iyer to carry on what wss admittedly a public. Attempts made to have the inquiry postponed with a view to arrive at an amicable settlement in the matter, were of no avail. It was then that the Mysore Congress was advised by Mahatma Gandhi to negotiate for a change in the personnel of the inquiry…. The opponent submits that the inquiry was only a departmental and there was no court constituted for the purpose. These was no legal obligation whatever on the part of Congressmen to tender evidence at the inquiry. The moral obligation would only arise in case the tribunal was satisfactory.”

It is these words that provoked the ire of the Chief Justice, and in criticizing them. he has made certain statements of astounding audacity: “To make- a foul allegation against one’s neighbour and to refuse either to withdraw it or substantiate it, was a conduct to which no decent-minded man who had not lost all sense of fairness would descend or advise others to descend.” Again: “I understand from the respondent’s statement that the aim of his political association is to get responsible government established in this State. This is a form of government which many of us would admire, and all of us, who are not judges, are at liberty to advocate. This is not an occasion on which it would be proper to discuss the advantages or disadvantages of that form of government. But I think we shall agree that that form of government can have no chance of success in any country in which there is not a general spirit of fairness throughout the country. The respondent, in this matter of deterring his followers

from withdrawing or substantiating their charges against their fellow-subjects, has shown himself devoid of that spirit of fairness: He has stated in one part of his statement that he did so at the dictates of a person outside the State. No man fit to be an advocate of this Court can submit his conscience to anyone else in that way. It is no excuse for such conduct.” Again, the Chief Justice, proceeding, observed, says The Hindu report, that, “it was surprising that the respondent, the professed votary of truth, should have behaved in such a way. Perhaps it is because truth is so often degraded in this country into nothing more than a political catchword that the respondent has lost all appreciation of its meaning and value. It was, a sad thing indeed for anyone to have so degraded’ himself and to have lowered his moral standards. It would not be fair to require other members of this honourable profession to associate in the work of the courts with a man who had allowed his morals to be so debased, nor would it be safe to allow litigants to allow their cases in his hands. In my opinion it is quite clear that the respondent has become by defect of character unfit to remain an advocate of this court.”

Harijan, 13-7-1940, pp.205-206


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