Mr. B. R. Agarwala is to be complimented on bringing out his book Trials of Independence on behalf of the National Book Trust, India. There is already a considerable volume of material published on some of these trials, like the trial of Lokmanya Tilak, the trial of Veer Savarkar and the I.N.A. trial. Not much is, however, known by the general public of the trial of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor, or of the trials of great national leaders like Surendra Nath Banerjea, M. N. Roy or Sheikh Abdullah, which Mr. Agarwala has dealt with. The stand taken by these great men in the trials is revealing of their character. For example, Bahadur Shah comes out as a completely weak and vacillating person dominated by his prosecutors, trying to put up any defence; on the other hand, M. N. Roy is shown as a firebrand revolutionary, more eagre to propagate his views rather than secure an acquittal on legal grounds.
The book is written in a lucid, easy style and makes interesting and instructive reading. I am quite sure that it will meet with wide and favourable response, both from lawyers and laymen alike. The lawyers should find the contents of the appendix, which include the relevant Sections of the Indian Penal code and dicussion on the Sedition (Rowlatt) Committee Report, 1918, quite useful. I wish the book every success.
About The Author
B. R. Agarwala (b. 1926 in Rajasthan), after post-graduating in history and sociology, took to study of law and topped the Bombay University, in 1955, winning the coveted sir Jamshedji Kanga Golden Jubilee memorial Prize. In 1958, he was called to the Bar (Lincoln's Inn) and soon started his practice at the Bombay High Court. In 1959, he enrolled as an advocate at the Supreme Court of India, where he was practising as a senior partner of a leading firm of solicitors till his death.
Apart from books entitled Law Relating to Entry into and Exit from India, the practice and Procedure of the Supreme Court of India, shah Bano Case, Agarwala had written a number of articles on law, sociology and literature. He was founder-editor of the sociological Bulletin and had founded the Indian Sociological society and the Indian School of synthetic Jurisprudence. He was an ardent lover of books, owning a vast collection on art, literature, philosophy, sociology, psychology and sexology
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