Those who render justice in truthful manner know that justice is essential
requirement for a Government. So says Gurbani 'Raje Chuli Niav Ki'.
As in other professions, in legal profession too, the Sikhs have made a name. Th e number of Sikh lawyers
in India as well as other countries is so large that it is not possible to give illustrations by selecting a few
names. Th ere have been many Sikh Advocates who were later on appointed as judges of High Court as well
as Supreme Court of India. For example, S. R.S. Narula remained Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High
Court (He was also Governor of Haryana for sometime) and had also earned a name in practice. Th ere
have been many other Sikhs who became judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court, and some of them
became prominent because of their activities aft er retirement. Justice Harbans Singh was later on associated
with Gurudwara elections, whereas Justice Ajit Singh Bains won a name in respect of his bold decisions on
human rights. He was the Chairman of the Punjab Human Rights Organization and was bold enough to
protect the rights of the Sikhs who were facing tortures during the black period of Punjab in the last century.
When he was entrusted with the task of making an inquiry into the arrests made in the State during the
last four years (ordered by S. Barnala, the C.M. on October 1, 1985), he did a thorough job to protect the
citizen's fundamental right to liberty, vital for a democratic set up. For his truthful and bold actions, Justice
Bains had also to suff er, but he remained fi rm in his views and convictions. In Supreme Court also, the Sikh
judges were known for their boldness and fairness. Justice R.S. Sarkaria later on headed the famous Sarkaria
Commission. Justice Kuldeep Singh of Supreme Court will always be remembered for his bold decisions.
Apart from Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Sikh Judges got tremendous applause in other courts also.
For example S. Pritam Singh Safeer (a renowned Punjabi writer) and Justice Jaspal Singh in Delhi High
Court, Justice S.S. Sodhi, Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court and Justice J.S. Khehar, Chief Justice of
Karnatka High Court, they were all famous for their qualities of fairness, boldness and human approach.
In foreign countries also, whereas the Sikh advocates like T. Sher Singh won name and fame, Justice Mota
Singh of England too had a roaring practice before he was appointed as Queen's Counsel and later on as
a Judge in the British Circuit Court. Justice Mota Singh was not the only Sikh to have become Queen's
Counsel. In fact, late Dr. Pritam Singh was the fi rst coloured person in the British history to be appointed as
Queen's Counsel in 1976. Similarly, the youngest so appointed so far is also a Sikh named S. Manjit Singh
Gill who is a reputed advocate on human rights law. He has handled several cases on racial equality in many
countries and has also appeared before United Nations Human Rights Committee. He was only 39 years old
when he was appointed Queen's Counsel. Justice Choor Singh Siddhu was the fi rst Sikh Judge of Singapore
Supreme Court. He has also written books on Sikh History including one on S. Maharaja Singh, the great
Sikh freedom fi ghter. For the purpose of illustrations, we have taken some of the Judges as our role-model
for this category.