Former Chief Justice of India, Justice PN Bhagwati, considered a pioneer of judicial activism in the country for introducing the concept of PILs, died here today after brief illness, family sources said.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Modi while hailing him as the "stalwart of India's legal fraternity", lauded his achievements and contribution to the judicial system.
He was the architect of a new concept - Public Interest Litigation (PIL) - for dispensing justice to the voiceless poor on whose behalf a third person could approach the Supreme Court or high courts.
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Justice Bhagwati had participated in the Freedom movement and courted arrest in 1942 and had gone underground for four months.
Justice Bhagwati is the brother of economist Jagdish Bhagwati and neurosurgeon SN Bhagwati.
Bhagwati is survived by his wife and three daughters. After his retirement, Bhagwati held several key offices on judicial reforms and legal aid in Gujarat. His funeral will be held on June 17, reported PTI.
He was a judge of the Gujarat high court for 13 years and served as chief justice of the high court from 1967 to 1973.
Former Chief Justice of India PN Bhagwati passed away at the age of 96 on Thursday evening. In Maneka Gandhi case, the SC had ruled that Right to Life is no mere animal existence but it meant Right to Live with Dignity.
Controversially, Bhagwati is also known for his judgment as part of the bench in the "Habeas Corpus case", during the Emergency under former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
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