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 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.