Persons in News 2017

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Justice PN Bhagwati, a Pioneer of Judicial Activism Passes Away

Former Chief Justice of India Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati who is considered as a pioneer of Judicial Activism has passed away. Justice Bhagwati was 95 years old.

Justice Bhagwati introduced the concepts of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and absolute liability to the Indian judicial system. He made the famous ruling that there was no need for a person to have any Locus Standi to approach the court on the issue of fundamental rights.

One of the important judgments passed by him was in the Maneka Gandhi passport impounding case of 1978. In this case, he ruled that a person had full right to hold a passport and his/her movement cannot be restricted. He also ruled that the prisoners too enjoyed fundamental rights.

Justice Bhagwati

Justice Bhagwati took part in the freedom movement and courted arrest in 1942. Justice Bhagwati graduated in law from Government Law College, Bombay. He started his practice in Bombay High Court and became a judge of the Gujarat High Court in 1960. Justice Bhagwati was a former Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court and later appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court in July 1973.
Justice PN Bhagwati served as the 17th Chief Justice of India from July 1985 to December 1986.


Neeru Chadha becomes First Indian Women to be elected to International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas

Law expert Neeru Chadha has been elected to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas (ITLOS). With this election, she has become the first Indian women to win a crucial election to a top UN judicial body that deals with disputes related to the law of the sea. Neeru has become the first Indian woman to be appointed as a judge at the ITLOS.

ITLOS comprises of 21 independent members who are elected based upon their reputation for being a person with integrity. The person should also have necessary competence in the field of the law of the sea

Neeru has also earned a distinction of becoming the second Indian woman to occupy a top position at the United Nations after Lakshmi Pandit who served as the President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Neeru Chadha

Neeru Chadha holds law degrees including a PhD in law from the University of Delhi and the University of Michigan. She was the first woman to be appointed by the Ministry of External Affairs as its chief advisor. She served as a member of the ministry’s Legal and Treaties Division.

Neeru Chadha has represented the Indian government in multilateral bodies and meetings. She has represented India in United Nations, AALCO (Asian-African Legal Consultative Organisation), UNIDROIT (International Institute for the Unification of Private Law), UNCITRAL (UN Commission on International Trade Law), The Hague Conference, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi- Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) on a range of subjects such as human rights, humanitarian law, international trade, international terrorism and international criminal law.

She was Indian government’s lead counsel after Italy had filed a case at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. She  also represented the country after the Marshall Islands accused India for not abiding by its nuclear disarmament obligations



ITLOs is an intergovernmental organisation under the ambit of the United Nations, established in 1996. ITLOS governs the laws on international waters and is one of dispute settlement mechanisms under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. The ITLOS comprises of 21 serving judges.