India’s former chief justice Chandrachud dies at 88 (Lead)

July 14th, 2008 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) Former chief justice of India Justice Y.V. Chandrachud died here Monday morning following a brief illness, an official said. He was 88. Justice Chandrachud is survived by his wife Prabha and son Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud, who is a judge of Bombay High Court.

The official said Justice Chandrachud celebrated his 88th birthday July 12 with his family members. He suddenly fell ill after the dinner and was rushed to the nearby Bombay Hospital from his Colaba residence in south Mumbai. He died there around 10.30 a.m.

A steady stream of visitors, including judges, lawyers and politicians visited the Chandrachud residence to pay their homage to the departed legal luminary.

According to a court official, Justice Chandrachud’s funeral was to be held Monday evening at the Chandanwadi Electric Crematorium.

Born on July 12, 1920 in Pune, Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud completed his early education in Nutan Marathi Vidyalaya there.

Later, he shifted to Mumbai and graduated in history and economics from the Elphinstone College before completing his law degree in 1942 from the University of Bombay, securing a first-class-first.

Joining the legal practice and simultaneously working as a part-time professor of law in the prestigious Government Law College, Mumbai, Chandrachud was appointed assistant government pleader at Bombay High Court in 1952 and promoted as Government Pleader six years later.

He was appointed as judge of the Bombay High Court March 19, 1961 where he functioned till his elevation to the apex court Aug 28, 1972.

He took over as chief justice of India Feb 22, 1978 and retired in July 1985, making it one of the longest tenures for a top India judge.

During his legal career, Justice Chandrachud worked as a One Man Pay Commission for fixing payscale of Bombay Municipal Corporation officers, Arbitrator between the Bombay Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking and its employees’ union, and as One Man Commission to inquire into the circumstances leading to the death of the Jan Sangh leader Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.

Post-retirement, Justice Chandrachud shot into the limelight when the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) appointed him as One Man Commission to independently inquire into the bane of bribery, betting and match-fixing scandals that rocked the Indian cricket.

He was also associated as an office-bearer of Shikshana Prasaraka Mandali of Pune, which runs more than 40 educational institutions, and authored “Laws of India, 1836 to Date with Commentary and State Amendments.”

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