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Southern States - Karnataka-Bangalore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

A belated reward for Jois from the BJP

By A.Jayaram

Bangalore July 7. The appointment of the former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and scholar, M.Rama Jois, as Governor of Jharkhand has to some extent corrected the injustice done to Karnataka in gubernatorial appointments.

In the 55 years since Independence, only 10 or 11 from the State have been appointed governors.

In one way, the NDA Government has made amends for the shoddy treatment its predecessor the BJP-led second Vajpayee Government meted out to the former State Chief Secretary, T.R.Satishchandran. He was forced to resign on April 13, 1998 as Governor of Goa at the behest of the Union Home Minister, L.K.Advani, on the tenuous ground that he was an appointee of the caretaker I.K.Gujral Government. Mr. Satishchandran, who was Principal Secretary to H.D.Deve Gowda when he was Prime Minister held office in Panaji for just two months. In fact, the BJP leaders at the Centre have been late in recognising Mr. Justice Rama Jois's services and struggles. He was a leading Bangalore advocate, especially in service matters and Constitutional Law, before his appointment as judge of the Karnataka High Court in November 1977. He resigned as Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1993 in protest against the appointment of the present Lokayukta, Justice N.Venkatachala, as judge of the Supreme Court ignoring his seniority. Though Mr. Justice Venkatachala and Mr. Justice Jois were appointed as judges of the Karnataka High Court on the same day in 1977, the latter had been assigned seniority. They were among the seven judges appointed that day.

Mr. Justice Rama Jois had spearheaded the historic legal battle against the detention under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act of the Prime Minister, A.B.Vajpayee, the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K.Advani, the former Railway Minister, Madhu Dandavate, and the noted parliamentarian, Shyamnandan Mishra, in the Bangalore Central Jail after Indira Gandhi promulgated the state of Emergency on June 25, 1975.

Mandagadde Rama Jois was born on July 27, 1931 at Araga village in the Thirthahalli taluk of Shimoga District. After securing degrees in science and law, he was enrolled as an advocate in 1959. A scholar and prolific writer, Mr. Justice Rama Jois is the author of the book, "Services Under the State" published by the Indian Law Institute in 1974. Later, the National Book Trust subsidised the publication of his book "Legal and Constitutional History of India" (two volumes) which deals with "Vyavahara Dharma" and "Raja Dharma." After having been on the Bench of the Karnataka High Court from 1977 to 1992, during which he acted as Chief Justice, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in May 1992. One of his better known works of recent days is "Dharma: The Global Ethic" brought out by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Mr. Justice Rama Jois, who was associated with the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and the RSS, has also co-authored a book on the Ramajanmabhoomi along with the Union Minister for Disinvestment, Arun Shourie, Arun Jaitley, Konrad Elst and another dealing among others with the Supreme Court's return of the Ayodhya reference by the Narasimha Rao Government and the 1938 Privy Council judgment of M.R.Jayakar and others dealing with the dispute between the Sikhs and Muslims over Lahore's Shahidganj Mosque. It was no surprise that Mr. Justice Rama Jois was the counsel for the VHP.

The others from Karnataka to hold gubernatorial offices are Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar (who was Rajpramukh and Governor of Mysore and later Governor of Madras), R.R.Diwakar (Bihar from 1952), K.C.Reddy (Madhya Pradesh), Tumkur Shivashankar of the ICS, who was Lt. Governor of Goa, D.C.Pawate (Punjab), C.M.Poonacha (Maharashtra), B.D.Jatti (Lt. Governor of Pondicherry and Governor of Orissa), B.Rachaiah (Himachal Pradesh and Kerala), and T.R.Satishchandran. Besides them, V.Vishwanathan also of the ICS and a product of the Central College here, was Governor of Gujarat.

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