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PM condoles Justice Sarkaria's death

Manmohan Singh condoles the death of former Supreme Court judge Justice RS Sarkaria, commending his "vital role" in the evolution of Indian republic and constitution.

delhi Updated: Oct 14, 2007 16:44 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday condoled the death of former Supreme Court judge Justice RS Sarkaria, commending his "vital role" in the evolution of Indian republic and constitution.

The author of a government study on centre-state relationship, Justice Sarkaria died in a Chandigarh hospital on the night of October 12 and was cremated on Saturday with full state honours. He was 91.

"I am deeply grieved to hear the sad news of the passing away of Justice RS Sarkaria. He was one of our tallest and most sagacious constitutional lawyers," the prime minister said in a message.

Born on January 16, 1916, Justice Sarkaria graduated from government college Lahore in 1936 and studied law in University Law College in the same city.

During 1950s, he was part of a two-member committee set up to translate the Indian constitution.

"He played a vital role in the evolution of the Indian Republic and our constitution," noted Manmohan Singh in his condolence message.

He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1973 and retired in 1981. After retirement, he was a member of a committee set up by Punjab University for preparing a comprehensive Punjabi dictionary.

Sarkaria will be remembered as the head of the committee appointed by Indira Gandhi in 1983 to study centre-state relations. The report, submitted in 1988, ran into five volumes and over 1,600 pages.

The prime minister described the work of the commission that "reinforced the foundations of our federal republic".

"His wise guidance will for ever more be missed by our judiciary and constitutional experts," he said.

"I join the nation in paying homage to the memory of Justice Sarkaria and I convey my heartfelt condolences to his family and his many admirers and disciples," Manmohan Singh said.