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When a British Chief Justice unfurled and saluted the tricolour: Bombay High Court’s first Independence Day

There were also underlying sentiments amongst the lawyers that letting an English judge unfurl the national tricolour was the graciousness of the Indian judges.

Senior Advocate Rafique Dada opined that the gesture by Stone was merely fulfilling his duty as a Chief Justice of a Court, which as on August 15, had transformed into an Indian Court.

“He was a British Chief Justice of an Indian Court. As a Chief Justice he is duty bound to unfurl the flag, which is what he did. It was a good gesture on his part,” Dada opined.

Dada also pondered over what Justice Stone may have gone through after India was declared independent.

“He must have felt as a British judge he took some harsh decisions, sometimes even against Indians. He may have thought that as an English judge, how could he be the Chief for Indian population, people may not accept him. But then High Court judges at that time have all taken harsh decisions, imprisoned their own people. The judge who convicted (Bal Gangadhar) Tilak was an Indian. But then the judge was appointed by the British government. Stone was also appointed by the British government, but eventually he became an Indian judge and as Chief Justice of an Indian court, it would have been anomalous to not hoist the flag”.

The gesture was clear – it was to show that the judiciary was independent from the executive and would continue to keep its independence, Dada suggested.

Source: Barandbench

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