Former Chief Justice of India J S Verma, who headed the government-appointed committee to frame a tough law to tackle crime against women in the wake of the December Delhi gangrape incident, died on Monday.He was 80.
Dr Yatin Mehta, head of the Institute of Critical Care and Anesthesiology, at Medanta Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon where Verma was admitted, said that the former CJI breathed his last at 9:30 pm Monday.
“He was brought in with liver failure and bleeding from stomach on Friday,” Mehta said.
Justice Verma was the 27th Chief Justice of India and served from March 25, 1997 until his retirement on January 18, 1998.
He had headed the committee formed by the government to give recommendations for a stringent anti-rape law after the brutal Delhi gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedic student on December 16, 2012.
Most of the recommendations of this committee, which also had Gopal Subramanian and Leela Seth as its members, were accepted by the government.
The government passed an Ordinance based on these suggestions and an anti-rape law was passed by Parliament in the first half of the budget session this year.
Born on January 18, 1933, Jagdish Sharan Verma had his early education in Satna, Madhya Pradesh.
He began his legal career in 1955 and became a Judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court in June-1973.
He became Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court in June,1986 and also served as Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court from September, 1986 to mid-1989.
In June, 1989, he was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court and became Chief Justice of India in January, 1998.
Justice Verma was also a former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission.
He was also the first Chairperson of News Broadcasting Standards Authority.
Justice Verma was a part of the nine-judge bench in 1994 which gave the landmark verdict in the S R Bommai case relating to proclamation of President’s Rule under Article 356 of the Constitution in Karnataka.
In this judgement, the Supreme Court held that Presidential proclamation can only be imposed after Parliament’s approval.
Another important judgement given by Justice Verma was setting aside the Bombay High Court verdict holding the election of Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi to Maharashtra Assembly as void in 1996.
In the judgement, the apex court said that Hindutva is a way of life.
As Chief Justice of India, Justice Verma also heard the Jain Hawala Case in which it was held that the notings in the diary containing the initials of some persons does not amount to a piece of evidence.