Justice VR Krishna Iyer, eminent jurist and former minister of Kerala, passes away
Eminent jurist, former Supreme Court judge and former minister of Kerala, Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, passed away in Kochi. He recently had turned 100. He was born to a leading criminal lawyer V.V. Rama Ayyar in 1915 in Thalassery, Kerala.
Legal career: He started his legal practice in 1937 in the Thalassery courts. In his early years, of practice he used to appear for workers and peasants in several agrarian struggle-related cases.
He was appointed a judge of the Kerala High Court in 1968. He was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court in 1973, and retired in 1980. He has also has served as a Member of the Law Commission from 1971 to 1973.
Landmark judgments: His landmark judgments include the Shamser Singh case which interpreted the powers of the Cabinet and the President, Maneka Gandhi case which gave a wider interpretation and dimension to Article 21, Ratlam Municipality case, and Muthamma’s case etc.
Political Career: In 1952, he became a member of the Madras Legislative Assembly. In the first Communist government in Kerala headed by E.M.S. Namboodiripad that came to power in 1957, he had held portfolios such as law, justice, home, irrigation, power, prisons, social welfare and inland navigation. In 1965, he lost Assembly election and resumed his legal practice.
Presidential elections: He had unsuccessfully contested to the post of President against Congress nominee late R. Venkitaraman in 1987.
Awards: He was conferred with Padma Vibhushan in the 1999.
Books: He has around 70 books to his credit, mostly on law, and four travelogues. His autobiography is ‘Wandering in Many Worlds’. He has also authored a book in Tamil, Neethimandramum Samanvya Manithanum.