V.R. Krishna Iyer is not a mere Judge. He is known among the people as justice Krishna Iyer. His personality is beyond that of a Judge, he is a humanitarian and a social worker.
In 1948, when he was a practicing Advocate, Krishna Iyer was taken to preventive custody by the Madras Police. He was in Kannur Jail for one month. The charge against him was that he used the Court as a place for propagating political agenda.
He was a famous Advocate when he was elected as an MLA to the Legislative Assembly in 1957. EMS requested him to join his Cabinet. He was in the forefront to fight the civil cases against Landlords in Malabar and also the criminal cases in favour of the labour class.
V.R. Krishna Iyer was the minister for seven portfolios namely, Home, Law, Prison, Electricity, Irrigation, Social Welfare, Inland Water, in the first EMS led communist Government in Kerala which came to power in 1957 following the victory of the Communist Party of India. He was 42 years at that time and was the youngest minister in the first democratically elected popular communist Government in India. Only two persons from the first EMS cabinet are still alive-Justice Krishna Iyer and K.R. Gowri Amma.
Minister, V.R Krishna Iyer who contested the election without accepting the formal communist party symbol, slowly became unpopular with the party leaders and party cadre. He did not permit any political influence in the departments under his control.
The language of Justice V.R Krishna Iyer, a great Judge of the Supreme Court, a committed social reformer, a crusader against injustice and a leading light for all malayalis, has always attracted every one. His literary skills were evident even in his Judgements. In the language of his writings and speeches he maintains a level of literary beauty.
In 1975, in the election related case of Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, Justice Krishna Iyer who was the Judge of the Supreme Court at that time refused to give the Judgement according to her interests. This led to promulgation of emergency in the country. That was how the black chapter in the history of modern india was scripted by Indira Gandhi.
Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer contested election again in 1987 after he retired as a Supreme Court Judge. He also contested as a presidential candidate. His friend and opponent candidate Sri R. Venkata Raman defeated him and became the President.
Though Krishna Iyer decided to lead his retired life at Ernakulam, he never forgot his relations with the Thalassery. He had a strong desire to raise Thalassery which lost its ancient glory, to a model town.
Thalassery is a place that has given birth to several famous personalities who have contributed to the fields of politics, literature, arts and sports. V.R. Krishna Iyer had formulated various plans for the development of Thalassery into a modern town and to restore its lost glory of the past.
His 100th birthday was celebrated in Kochi in November, 2014 and a number of programmes were organised by members of the legal fraternity, citizenry and his friends and well-wishers to felicitate him. He had been actively involved in social and political life after retirement, almost till a few weeks when ill-health and advancing age took their toll on him.
He died on 4 December 2014. The state was in attendance at his cremation with his two sons, with a gun salute.