Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Prafulchandra Natwarlal Bhagwati or as he was popularly known PN Bhagwati passed away at the age of 95 years on Thursday evening. The news was confirmed by Bhagwati’s family. Bhagwati had a glorious career as the Chief Justice of India and a CV to boast for. Even his profile on the Supreme Court of India website mentions that “he courted arrest during the National Freedom Movement in 1942 and went underground for four months”. Here’s a look at his career:
1. Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati was born on 21.12.1921 to a Supreme Court judge. Later, he himself went on to become the 17th Chief Justice of India.
2. Born in Gujarat, Bhagwati served as the CJI from 12 July 1985 to 20 December 1986 and was also the brother of reputed economist Jagdish Bhagwati.
????Om Shanti, Rest in Peace
Justice PN Bhagwati
Former Chief Justice of India whose tenure was one of the most significant, incl intro of PILs
— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) June 15, 2017
3. Bhagwati received his education in Mumbai from the Elphinstone College, taking a Mathematics (Hons.) degree from Bombay University in 1941. He started his career from the Bombay High Court and then in July 1960, was appointed as the Judge of the Gujarat High Court.
4. He even went on to serve as the Governor of Gujarat briefly on two occasions. In July 1973, Bhagwati was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
5. Even though Bhagwati made many contributions to Indian law system, he is best known for introducing Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 1986. The PIL became an important instrument of protecting the interests of underprivileged and marginalised sections of the society. Now, it is an integral part of the Indian judicial system.
Justice PN Bhagwati – The man who introduced the concept of public interest litigations.. May his soul rest in peace… https://t.co/BJFYaK393S
— Naveen Jindal (@MPNaveenJindal) June 15, 2017
Justice PN Bhagwati’s remarkable contributions made our judicial system more accessible & gave voice to millions.
6. He is also associated with the infamous Habeas Corpus case which was heard in 1976 in the context of the Emergency. In this case, there was a question on whether a person could file Habeas Corpus writ if he has been subjected to unlawful detention.
7. Bhagwati who was a part of the bench said he/she could not in the judgement, which was interpreted by many as undermining a Fundamental Right. Habeas Corpus is one of the six writs that comes under the Right to Constitutional Remedies which is a Fundamental Right.