65. 5,000 Miles Away

The recent debate in the Assembly over the proposal to appoint two additional judges to the Privy Council for the purpose of hearing Indian appeals has revived the controversy about the location of this final court of appeal. If it were not for the hypnotism under which we are labouring, we would see without effort the futility, the sinfulness, of going five thousand miles away to get (or buy?) justice. It is said that at that delightful distance the judges are able to decide cases with greater detachment and impartiality than they would if they had to hear appeals, say in Delhi. The moment the argument is examined it breaks down. Must the poor Londoners have their Privy Council in Delhi? And what should the French and the Americans do? Must the French by arrangement have their final Court of appeal in America and the Americans in France? What should we do if India was an independent Country? Or is India an exceptional 'case' requiring special favoured treatment giving the right of appeal in far off London? Let no one quote in support of the seat of the Privy Council in London the case of the Great Colonies. They retain the anachronism out of sentiment. And the movement is on foot in several colonies to have their final Courts of appeal in their own homes. The sentiment in India is the other way. A self-respecting India would never tolerate the location of her final Court of appeal anywhere else but in India.

Young India, 18-2-1926, p. 67