Former Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dharmadhikari dies at 91


Radhika Dhawad | Jan 3, 2019 16:02

Former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court Chandrashekhar Shankar Dharmadhikari passed away at a private hospital in Nagpur on Thursday early morning
Chandrashekhar Shankar Dharmadhikari

Former Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court Chandrashekhar Shankar Dharmadhikari passed away at a private hospital in Nagpur on Thursday early morning. Dharmadhikari, who was 91, suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday night, hours before he breathed his last around 1 am.

A recipient of Padma Bhushan in 2003, Dharmadhikari had delivered a landmark verdict during the Emergency on human rights. He had held that apart from constitutional rights, ‘Right to Life’ is natural and a human right, and therefore, even during the Emergency, a citizen could approach the high court.

Born on November 20, 1927 at Raipur, his father was imprisoned in 1930, 1932 and 1942 and his mother took part in individual Satyagraha in 1941 and Quit India Movement of 1942 and was jailed for about three years.

After graduating in law from Nagpur, he enrolled as an advocate of the Nagpur bench of the high court in 1956. He also served as a government pleader before being appointed as the judge of the Bombay High Court in 1972.

An eminent Gandhian, freedom-fighter, legal luminary and social activist, Dharmadhikari is survived by two sons, Satyaranjan, who’s a senior Bombay HC judge, Ashutosh a senior lawyer and a daughter Dr Aruna Patil.

Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao expressing grief over Dharmadhikari’s demise, said, “Coming from the family of freedom fighters, Justice Dharmadhikari had imbibed Gandhian values right from his childhood. He distinguished himself as one of the finest judges of the Bombay High Court who was associated with some of the most important judgements.”

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Justice Dharamadhikari carried forward the legacy of social responsibility of his father late Dada Dharmadhikari. He worked for the spread of Gandhian values till his last. He had also guided the state government from time to time.”

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit said, “He was a towering personality who made a significant contribution towards the betterment of society. He was a scholar, an erudite speaker, a thinker and legal luminary who inspired a generation of lawyers.”

NCP leader and MP Supriya Sule expressed her grief by saying, “मुंबई उच्च न्यायालयाचे माजी मुख्य न्यायमूर्ती, ज्येष्ठ गांधीवादी विचारवंत चंद्रशेखर धर्माधिकारी यांचं निधन झालं. त्यांच्या रुपाने महाराष्ट्राच्या सामाजिक परिवेशात वावरणारे एक आश्वासक व्यक्तिमत्व हरपले. त्यांना भावपूर्ण श्रद्धांजली.”