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Justice P N Bhagwati, Former Chief Justice of India, Passes away

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Justice P.N. Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of India, passed away on Thursday after a brief illness. He was the 17th Chief justice and served between July 1985 and Dec 1986. Along with Justice Krishna Iyer, he was considered a pioneer in Judicial Activism in our country. He introduced the concept of Public Interest litigation (PIL) and Absolute Liability into the Indian Judiciary.

Also, he ruled that Prisoners had fundamental Rights too. And also that there was no need for a person to have any locus standi if the issue pertained to that of fundamental rights. He was also instrumental in elaborating Right to life by ruling that a person’s right to movement cannot be restricted in the Maneka Gandhi case.

He was also criticised for his judgement in the ADM Jabalpur case, wherein he ruled that during Emergency, a person’s right to not be unlawfully detained (Habeas Corpus) can be suspended. Though later he called his judgement short-sighted and apologised.

He had earlier served as the Chief Justice of Gujrat High Court and also on two occasion been the Governor of Gujrat.