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Bhagat Singh Series : The Episode of Justice Agha Haider

Justice Agha Haider, originally from Saharanpur, UP, was the only Indian Judge in the special tribunal formed by the effect of an special ordinance passed by the then viceroy to conduct the proceedings of Lahore Conspiracy Case in 1930. The other members of the Tribunal were Justice Coldstream, the president of the tribunal, and Justice G.C. Helton.
Apparently, it was just a formality to form such committees as the verdict was predefined. The tribunal was to work hand in glove with the Government. Justice Agha Haider was also to behave in such manner, but he was not going the way that he was to go. On 12th May 1930, a incident took place in the court area, it is known that accused used to sing revolutionary songs and shout slogans like, "Inqilab Zindabad" in the court room. The judges were so much annoyed by this behaviour that they clearly asked the accused avoid such things in the court room, when the accused refused to do so they were given sever maltreatment by the police squad present in the court room and were removed from the court to jail by force. Justice Agha Haider did not approved this behaviour of the Tribunal. To part himself from the whole incident he gave a written testimony to register his protest that states,
"I was not the party to the order of removal of the accused from the Court to the jail and I was not responsible for it any way. I disassociate myself from all that took place in the consequences of that order."
12 May 1930,                                                                                                Agha Haider
While referring to the incident of Agha Haider, many people say that he had resigned from the tribunal to register his protest, but it is apparent from the historical evidences that he was deliberately removed from the tribunal as he was not fulfilling the desires of the government.

- Abu Turab Naqvi
(For further remarks on this incident please refer to A G Noorani's The Trial of Bhagat Singh: Politics of Justice" )


  1. Dear Abu - thanks for presenting the incident in correct perspective. I read a whatsapp post and searched the net "did Justice Agha Haider resign" and found your post, which in no way has demeaned the action of Justice Haider, rather it shows that he did resist the British. Thanks and stay blessed

  2. Thanks for the correct information. God bless you.


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