Smt. Vinatadevi Tope Social Service League of Government Law College is organising its fifth annual Principal Dr. T. K. Tope Memorial Lecture, to be held on February 28, 2020 at 5 PM at the Indian Merchants’ Chamber, Churchgate.
Commemorating Dr. Tope, the longest-serving Principal of GLC, the lecture will have Hon’ble Mr. Justice (Retd.) S. C. Dharmadhikari speaking on freedom of speech sedition with an emphasis on the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s 1962 verdict in Kedar Nath Singh vs. the State of Bihar.
The lecture is open for students, academicians as well as practicing advocates. However, due to a limited number of seats, prior registration is mandatory.
About the Lecture
From its colonial origins as a tool of suppressing voices of the freedom movement to the heated debates around its continuance in the Constituent Assembly, Section 124A has remained a crucial part of legal debates in India for decades. At a time when the sedition law has come under heavy criticism by the legal community and activists for its misuse across the country, there is an urgent need to interrogate its contested history. Justice Dharmadhikari’s intervention into Section 124A, then, is an important insight into his own seminal judgments and his commitment to upholding democratic values.
This will be the first lecture by Justice Dharmadhikari since his retirement and it will touch upon important issues facing the judiciary and the country today.
Note on the Principal Dr. T. K. Tope Memorial Lecture
The lecture was started in 2014 to commemorate the birth centenary of Dr. Tope and featured former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, Justice Narendra Chapalgaonkar, Sr. Advocate Rafique Dada and dancer Kanak Rele. Subsequent lectures have featured Justice B. N. Srikrishna, Justice Gautam Patel, Sr. Advocate Darius Khambata, Sr. Advocate Janak Dwarkadas and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro.
Note on Dr. T. K. Tope
Trimbak Krishna Tope was born in Yeola, a small town next to Nashik, on 28 February 1914. A direct descendant of freedom fighter Tatya Tope, he participated in the freedom struggle at a young age as part of the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930 and the Quit India Movement in 1942. Dr. Tope went on to become a professor of Sanskrit and later a professor of constitutional law at Government Law College.
As a close confidant of Dr. BR Ambedkar and a scholar of constitutional law, he played a crucial role in the drafting and dissemination of the Hindu Code Bill. Dr. Tope’s Constitutional Law of India, published in 1971, remains an integral text in law schools across the country.
Dr. Tope served as the Principal of Government Law College for 17 years (1958 to 1975) until he was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University (where he served two terms, 1971 to 1977). In his later years, he served on the Maharashtra Law Commission and the Law Commission of India. Dr. Tope was also the Sheriff of Bombay from 1985 to 1986.
Dr. Tope also established the Social Service League of Government Law College in the year 1966, in the memory of his late wife, Smt. Vinatadevi Tope. The Social Service League continues to work for the underprivileged till date, developing the value of empathy among law students, as envisioned by Dr. Tope.
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