Tamil Nadu

Former Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Justice P.R. Gokulakrishnan passes away

Justice P.R. Gokulakrishnan at the Cancer Institute, Adyar in Chennai on July 02, 2014.

Justice P.R. Gokulakrishnan at the Cancer Institute, Adyar in Chennai on July 02, 2014.   | Photo Credit: V. GANESAN

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He was also former Acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court

Justice P.R. Gokulakrishnan, retired Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court and also former Acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court, died aged 92 in Chennai on Wednesday. He is survived by his two sons P.G. Sundararaman and P.G. Ramkumar.

Hailing from Puliyangudi village in Mannargudi Taluk of Thanjavur district, he was born to an agrarian family and did his schooling at the Hindu High School in Triplicane, Chennai. He graduated from the Presidency College before obtaining a law degree.

In 1967, he was appointed as the State Public Prosecutor and subsequently became the Advocate General when he conducted many famous cases including the one filed against actor M.R. Radha for having shot former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran.

After getting appointed as a permanent judge of the Madras High Court in July 1969, he served the institution for 16 years. He got elevated as the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court in 1985 and retired from service in 1990.

During his stint as Chief Justice, he had also acted twice as the Governor of Gujarat. Post retirement, he headed the then newly constituted Backward Classes Commission in Gujarat for a period of three years and framed the rules and regulations applicable to it.

According to a profile shared by his family members, Justice Gokulakrishnan was the chairman of the 125th year celebrations of the University of Madras when he was serving as the Acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court. Then, he took keen interest in creating Departments of Saivism, Vaishanavism, Jainism, Christianity, Annaism and Gandhian studies.

He also succeeded in obtaining many facilities such as cars, telephones and residential quarters for the District Judges and Chief Judicial Magistrates in the State. When he was the judge of the Madras High Court, the Centre appointed him to a one-man tribunal.

The purpose of the tribunal was to decide whether the Centre was justified in banning Sikh organisations such as All India Sikh Students Federation, Dal Khalse and Khalistan Movement. He declared all those organisations as unlawful.

In 1997, he headed another one-man Commission of Inquiry instituted by the State government to inquire into the death of traffic constable Selvaraj in Coimbatore and the consequent disturbance to law and order in Coimbatore city.

The very next year, he headed yet another Commission of Inquiry to probe the causes and circumstances that led to a series of bomb blasts in Coimbatore on April 14, 1998 and blamed the police for having failed to prevent the blasts.

He was conferred with Doctorate in Law by the Annamalai University in Chidambaram and was the president of Tamil Isai Sangam for nearly 24 years. He was also a member of the general council and executive council of the Cancer Institute at Adyar, Chennai.

Condoling the death, Dravida Munetra Kazhagam president M.K. Stalin recalled that Justice Gokulakrishnan had the rare honour of the Gujarat State Cabinet having accorded him a farewell when he retired as the Chief Justice of the High Court in that State.

“The incident proved to be a great honour for Tamil Nadu,” he said and stated that his report on the Coimbatore bomb blasts ensure justice for the common man. Mr. Stalin also recalled the former Chief Justice to have released the sixth volume of former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s autobiography titled Nenjukku Needhi.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 10:05:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/former-chief-justice-of-gujarat-high-court-justice-pr-gokulakrishnan-passes-away/article30573022.ece

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