P. N. Bhagwati
|P. N. Bhagwati|
|Chief Justice of India|
12 July 1985 – 20 December 1986
|Nominated by||none (per convention as he was the senior most judge)|
|Preceded by||Y. V. Chandrachud|
|Succeeded by||R. S. Pathak|
|Born||December 21, 1921|
Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati (born December 21, 1921) was the 17th Chief Justice of India, serving from 12 July 1985 until his retirement on 20 December 1986. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, in 2007.
P. N. Bhagwati was born in Gujarat. His father was Justice N. H. Bhagwati, a Supreme Court judge. He is the brother of economist Jagdish Bhagwati. and S.N. Bhagwati, eminent Neurosurgeon. He completed his schooling in Mumbai, thereafter graduated in Maths. (Hons.) from Elphinstone College, Mumbai in 1941. Here, while studying in M.A. in Maths, he courted arrest during the Indian Independence Movement in 1942 and went underground for four months. Subsequently he received a law degree from Government Law College, Bombay.
He started his career practicing at the Bombay High Court and became a judge at the Gujarat High Court in July 1960. In September 1967 he was appointed its Chief Justice. On two occasions he briefly acted as the Governor of Gujarat (7 December 1967 to 25 December 1967 and 17 March 1973 to 3 April 1973
In July 1973, he was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of India and he became Chief Justice of India in August 1985. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.
He introduced public interest litigation in Indian judicial system. He introduced absolute liability in India. He, along with Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, introduced judicial activism in the country and made the Supreme Court available to the common man.
Habeas corpus case
A controversial judgment of Bhagwati was in the ADM Jabalpur v. Shivkant Shukla case (popularly referred to as the ADM Jabalpur case or the habeas corpus case) where he decreed that during Emergency, a person's right to not be unlawfully detained (Habeas Corpus) can be suspended. This judgment gained a lot of criticism since it reduces the importance attached to Fundamental Rights under the Indian Constitution. Bhagwati later agreed with the popular opinion that this judgement was short-sighted and "apologised" for the same.
He was married to Prabhavati Shethji and the couple had three daughters Parul, Pallavi and Sonali.
- "Padma Awards Directory (1954-2007)". Ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- Judges Biography: P. N. Bhagwati Supreme Court of India.
- "Information about the tenure of the Governors of Gujarat". Raj Bhavan (Gujarat) (Govt. of Gujarat). Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
- "P.N. Bhagwati on the role of judicial activism". Mar 06, 1996. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Starting the PIL revolution". Jan 26, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Press statement released by Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam". Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- "Interview with Justice Bhagwati (2011)". Video on www.myLaw.net.
Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud
|Chief Justice of India
July 12, 1985– December 20, 1986
Raghunandan Swarup Pathak