Life has to be followed by death for all of us, but to lead a full life and have no regrets about a wasted past is an achievement of only a few. P.N.Bhagwati , the 17th Chief Justice of India lived a life of commitment to justice for all, whether it is to the prisoner or the common man. He passed away at the age of 95 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife and 3 daughters.
A pioneer of human rights
A great pioneer in judicial activism, he was instrumental in introducing the concept of “public interest litigation” to our courts, by ruling that there was no need for a person to have any locus standi (the right or capacity to bring an action or to appear in a court) to knock the doors of a court on the issue of fundamental rights. He was also active in fighting for the cause of prisoners when he ruled that they too enjoyed fundamental rights.
Justice Bhagwati had participated in the Freedom movement and courted arrest in 1942 and had gone underground for four months. He graduated in law from Government Law College, Bombay and started his practice in Bombay High Court. He was Chief Justice of India from July 1985 till his retirement in December 1986.