Shanti Bhushan championed numerous issues both within and outside the courtrooms. After a brief spell with the Congress (O), he challenged Indira Gandhi’s election victory in front of the Allahabad High Court on behalf of his client Raj Narain.
New Delhi: Shanti Bhushan, a veteran lawyer and former Union Law Minister, passed away on Tuesday. He was 97.
He is survived by his daughters Shalini Gupta and Shefali Bhushan, sons Prashant Bhushan and Jayant Bhushan, both renowned lawyers.
In his lengthy career as a public figure, Shanti Bhushan championed numerous issues both within and outside the courtrooms. After a brief spell with the Congress (O), he challenged Indira Gandhi’s election victory in front of the Allahabad High Court on behalf of his client Raj Narain. He won the legal battle that ultimately resulted in Gandhi declaring emergency. When the Janata Party took office in 1977, Bhushan was named Law Minister and repealed several constitutional amendments that had been passed when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister.
During his presidency, the 44th Constitution Amendment was passed, fulfilling a political pledge to “return the Constitution to the condition it was in before the Emergency.”
Bhushan joined the BJP in 1980 following the fall of the Janata Party but left a few years later.
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After leaving politics, Bhushan went back to practicing law and took on a variety of issues ranging from criminal to constitutional. He is credited with setting the precedent for a senior advocate who charges high fees in a bar dominated by titans from Bombay and Madras while also championing a number of public causes.
Prashant Bhushan told the Indian Express, “All I can say is that this is the end of an era. He was a person who saw the evolution of the Constitution and the legal system from close quarters since Independence.”
“My father Mr Shanti Bhushan passed away at 97, peacefully at home on 31st Jan, surrounded by his loved ones. His integrity & qualities of head & heart are rare today. We were blessed. With him, an era has passed. I thank all those who have sent warm remembrances & condolences”, son Prashant Bhushan later tweeted.
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