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Home > News > PTI

Justice R N Sarkaria passes away

October 13, 2007 21:58 IST

Former Supreme Court judge Ranjit Singh Sarkaria, who defined Centre-state relations for over two decades, died after a prolonged illness in Chandigarh on Friday night. He was 91.

The former chairmain of the Press Council of India, who was visiting his sister, was admitted to a local hospital after complaining of breathlessness and breathed his last at approximately 11 pm, his family said.

Sarkaria was cremated on Saturday with full state honours and a reverse gun salute by the Punjab Police contingent.

Punjab Advocate-General H S Mattewal, Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh and Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Kehar Singh placed wreaths on behalf of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the judicial fraternity.

Born on January 16, 1916, Sarkaria was educated at the Mahendra College in Patiala and earned an LLB from Lahore [Images]. He began his career as an advocate in the Patiala High Court in 1940. He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in September 1973 and retired in 1981.

He was asked to head the committee to study Centre-state relations in 1983 during the tenure of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi [Images].In the report submitted in 1988, the main focus of his recommendation was on the devolution of powers between the Centre and the states and on the imposition of President's rule.

Sarkaria also published the English-Hindi-Punjabi dictionary of Legal and Administrative Terms and a Punjabi translation of Shakespeare's King Lear.

In a condolence message, chief minister Badal said, "Justice Sarkaria was an eminent jurist, legal luminary and above all, a fine human being with rare qualities of head and heart. He discharged his duties in various capacities with the utmost sincerity, dedication and professional commitment."

Shiromani Akali Dal MP and party general secretary Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa was among those who attended the cremation.

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