Mumbai: The former Chief Justice of India, Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud, who died here on Monday, was on the majority Bench that decided in favour of the Indira Gandhi government in a landmark habeas corpus case during the Emergency.
Justice Chandrachud (88) was the country’s longest-serving Chief Justice, having served in that office between 1978 and 1985.
In one of the most notable cases in Indian Constitutional history, he was in the Bench comprising five most senior judges that heard the famous case.
It related to whether the right to habeas corpus (Article 21 of the Constitution) could be suspended during periods of national emergency after petitions were moved by scores of MISA detenus.
Despite widespread High Court support for habeas corpus, Justice Chandrachud went along with Justices A.N. Ray, P.N. Bhagwati and M.H. Beg in a 4-1 verdict to reject the petitions on April 28, 1976. The judges held that no person had any locus to move any writ petition under Article 226 before a High Court for habeas corpus or any other writ to challenge the legality of an order of detention.
The only dissenting opinion was from Justice H.R. Khanna, who has been widely acclaimed for the act. — PTI