“He was alert till his last breath. We even celebrated his 88th birthday on Saturday,” said Justice Dhananjay Y. Chandrachud, remembering his father, former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud, who passed away at Bombay Hospital on Monday morning.
On the night of July 12, YV Chandrachud was at his son’s Malabar Hill home celebrating his 88th birthday when he suddenly experienced a pain in his abdomen and started vomiting.
He was rushed to Bombay Hospital, where he breathed his last at 10.12 am on Monday.
Dhananjay had lost his wife Rashmi to cancer last July at Bombay Hospital. “Coincidentally, my wife and father were allotted the same room,” he said.
Even after retirement in 1985, Y.V. Chandrachud was actively involved in mediation and arbitration. “He recently attended a two-day conference. Everyone marvelled at his alertness,” said his son.
A true jurist, he was known to be a liberal judge and for his pathbreaking judgements, said Advocate General Ravi Kadam.
YV Chandrachud served as CJI for seven years (1978-85) and passed many landmark judgements especially in the 1985 Shah Bano case.
He had ruled that divorced Muslim women are entitled to claim maintenance from husbands under the Civil Procedure Code, which overrides the Muslim Personal Law.
He also extended Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution to slumdwellers, ruling that they had the right to a roof over their heads.
Y.V. Chandrachud was cremated with full state honours at Chandanwadi crematorium. His body was covered with a tricolour and a police band played the national anthem.
Besides the sitting HC judges, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Deputy Chief Minister RR Patel, Chief Secretary Johny Joseph, Vice-Chancellor Bhalchandra Mungekar, and former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court Sujata Manohar paid homage to the former CJI at his Colaba residence.