Asia & Australia

January 03, 2019

Former Bombay HC Acting Chief Justice, Chandrasekhar Shankar Dharmadhikari, passes away


Justice Chandrashekar Shankar Dharmadhikari (92), a Padma Bhushan awardee and former Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court as well as senior Gandhian thinker, passed away on January 3 at a private hospital in Nagpur.

Justice Dharmadhikari (Born November 20, 1927) held M.A.L.L.B from Nagpur University. He was a Lawyer since 1954 to 1972; Government Pleader at High Court of Bombay, Nagpur Bench from 1965 to1972; appointed as a Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay w.e.f. July 13, 1972; and was Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. He retired on November 20, 1989. Thereafter, from July 7, 1991 to November 20, 1992, he was Chairman of Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal and was later appointed Chairman of Dahanu Taluka Environment Protection Authority.

Landmarks judgments were delivered by Justice Dharmadhikari, relating to Rights of Women, Adiwasi Children, Insane People, and Prisoners. In one of his Judgments delivered during the Emergency, he held that apart from the Constitutional Right, a Right to Life is natural and human right, and therefore, even during the Emergency, a Citizen has a right to approach the High Court, as natural and human right to life cannot be taken away. As per this Judgment he entertained the Petitions and released the detenus, against whom there was no material. He was known as almost up-right independent and fearless Judge.

Justice Dharmadhikari belonged to a family of lawyers. His grandfather Shri. T. D. Dharmadhikari was in judicial Service and was A. D. J; Brother Y. S. Dharmadhikari was Advocate General of Madhya Pradesh. His father, Acharya Dada Dharmadhikari, was a well-known Gandhian thinker and freedom fighter who took part in all the movements launched by Gandhiji and was imprisoned several times. His Mother, Smt. Damayanti Dharmadhikari, took part in individual Satyagraha in 1941 and Quit India Movement of 1942 and was imprisoned for about three years. His Wife, Tara Dharmadhikari, was Dy. Director Information and publicity, Government of Maharashtra, and Editor, Lokrajya. His Daughter, Aruna Patil, is Doctor. He has two Sons: Satyaranjan, who is Judge of High Court of Bombay, and Ashutosh, who is an Advocate.

Justice Dharmadhikari took part in Quit India Movement of 1942. The Government of Maharashtra in recognition of his services as Freedom fighter, suo moto, included his name in Prestigious List of Freedom Fighters. He was Vice President of Vidarbha Rashtra Bhasha Prachar Samiti, Maharashtra State Free Legal Aid and Advice Board. He also served as Chairman of Institute of Gandhian Studies, Wardha; Vidhi Anuvad va Paribhasha Sallagar Samti, Govt. of Maharashtra; Bombay Reform Association; Maharashtra Gramdan Board; Sarvodaya Ashram, Nagpur; and was also Managing Council of G. S. College of Commerce and Economics, Jabalpur; among others.

Justice Dharmadhikari was connected with Award Committees of Indian Chamber of Commerce; Jamnalal Bajaj Award; Sane Guruji Memorial Award; Indian Merchants Chambers and Ladies Wing of I. M. C. Awards; and Padmaraja Rani bang, Memorial Award (Chetna Vikas) Akbarally’s Sadbhvana Puraskar, etc.

Justice Dharmadhikari was conferred the following awards: Govt. of Maharashtra Literary Award 1976-77 and 2002-03; Karandikar Trust Dharwad Literary Award; Distinguished Citizen Award of Rotary Club of Bombay; Gopal Krishna Gokhale award; Gandhi Jan Award; Gosewa Ratna Puraskar; Rashtriya Gaurav Puraskar (World Peace Movement Trust); Padma-Bhushan award by the president of India; Bharati Gaurav Puraskar; Ashrivad Rajbhasha Gaurav Puruskar; Justice Ranade Samaj Seva Puraskar; Bhausaheb Dhamankar Prerana Puraskar; Durgadevi Saraf Samaj Seva Puraskar; Justice Ramshastri Prabhune Samajik Nyaya Puraskar; and Bhausaheb Dhamankar Preana Puraskar, for samaj Seva and Kushta Seva, and social awareness.

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