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Y. V. Chandrachud: The Jurist Who Shaped India’s Constitution

Y. V. Chandrachud was an Indian jurist who served as the 16th Chief Justice of India from 1978 to 1985. He is the longest-serving Chief Justice in India’s history, at seven years and four months.

Chandrachud was born in Pune, Maharashtra, in 1920. He studied law at the Government Law College in Bombay and was called to the bar in 1943. He then practiced law in Bombay for several years before being appointed a judge of the Bombay High Court in 1961.

In 1972, Chandrachud was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of India. He quickly rose through the ranks and was appointed Chief Justice in 1978. As Chief Justice, Chandrachud played a key role in shaping India’s Constitution. He was known for his strong defense of individual rights and liberties, and he issued several landmark rulings that expanded the scope of fundamental rights in India.

One of Chandrachud’s most famous rulings was the 1978 case of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India. In this case, the Supreme Court struck down a law that gave the government the power to detain people without trial. The Court held that the right to personal liberty is a fundamental right that cannot be taken away without due process of law.

Chandrachud also played a key role in the 1980 case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution is supreme and that no law passed by Parliament can violate its basic structure. This ruling is known as the “basic structure doctrine” and it has been used by the Supreme Court to strike down several laws that it has deemed to be unconstitutional.

Chandrachud retired from the Supreme Court in 1985. He died in 2008 at the age of 88.

In addition to his work as a judge, Chandrachud was also a professor of law and a prolific writer. He wrote several books and articles on constitutional law and human rights. He was also a member of several international legal bodies, including the International Commission of Jurists and the International Court of Justice.

Chandrachud was a towering figure in Indian law and he is considered to be one of the most important jurists in the country’s history. He is remembered for his strong defense of individual rights and liberties, and his rulings have had a profound impact on the development of Indian law.

Here are some of the challenges that Chandrachud faced in his career:

  • Serving as Chief Justice during a time of political turmoil
  • Dealing with the Emergency, which was a period of authoritarian rule in India
  • Overseeing the transition to a more democratic India

Despite these challenges, Chandrachud never wavered in his commitment to the rule of law and the protection of human rights. He is a true inspiration to many and his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.

Here are some of his notable achievements:

  • Longest-serving Chief Justice of India
  • Played a key role in shaping India’s Constitution
  • Issued several landmark rulings that expanded the scope of fundamental rights in India
  • Established the “basic structure doctrine”
  • Was a professor of law and a prolific writer
  • Member of several international legal bodies

Chandrachud is a true icon of Indian law and his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. He is a reminder that the rule of law and the protection of human rights are essential for a just and democratic society.

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