A phenomenal human being, says Modi

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In this February 9, 2014 file photo, Narendra Modi visits former Supreme Court judge Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer at his residence in Kochi.

Throughout his life, Krishna Iyer stood for the cause of justice, equality: Karat

Eminent personalities have expressed their shock and condolences at the demise of jurist V.R. Krishna Iyer at a Kochi hospital on Thursday. He was 99. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Fine lawyer, eminent jurist, incredible philosopher and above all a phenomenal human being. I bow to Justice Krishna Iyer.”

He was a Supreme Court judge from 1973 to 1980 and was earlier a Minister in the EMS Namboodripad government in Kerala from 1957 to 1959.

CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said, “Throughout his life, Krishna Iyer stood for the cause of justice, equality and socialism. With his moral stature and deep compassion for the downtrodden, he played the role of a people’s tribune till the end of his life.”

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor of the Congress tweeted, “Sad to learn that centenarian Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer has passed away. Judge, minister, social reformer, human rights activist, great human. RIP.”

An author of more books than his age, he was conferred the Padma Vibhushan by the A.B. Vajpayee government in 1999.

RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat said, “It was only recently I had an opportunity of meeting him, which was an invigorating experience for me. What appealed to me the most was his sense of purpose and unadulterated love for all. An erudite scholar, he was content with simple living.”

Justice Iyer had unsuccessfully contested against the Congress’ R. Venkataraman in the presidential polls of 1987. Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam tweeted, “Saddened by demise of Justice Krishna Iyer … Such souls take birth rarely.”

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said, “He was the pride of the Indian judiciary and was active till his last breath… ”

“As a lawyer, legislator, jurist, judge and campaigner, he was a unique phenomenon, never lured by power, position or temptations of any kind,” Kerala Governor and former Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam said in a statement.

Select articles by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer

“The best judge will have nothing to hide and everything to discover without fear or favour.”Read here
“A Bhopal tragedy of Hiroshima magnitude — I call it a ‘Bhoposhima’ calamity caused by ‘gasassination.'”Read here
“A commission to select judges will be an improvement on the collegium only if its members are of the highest standing.” Read here
“Why capital punishment should be given the death sentence.” Read here
“Judges are the spinal cord of the rule of law, and the final interpreters of the Constitution. Their judgments govern social and economic justice. But oftentimes, as Frankfurter pointed out, their failings show up.” Read here
On Justice Krishna Iyer

He spurned the lure of pelf and power and governmental patronage and became an unrivalled champion of social justice, constitutional values and the rule of law. He blossomed into an iconic and inspirational figure both nationally and internationally.Read here
Luminaries in the field of jurisprudence paid glowing tributes to the former Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer at a seminar organised to celebrate the 100th birthday of the eminent jurist. Read here
Collection of letters by Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer released. Read here
V.R. Krishna Iyer, who is described as a legend in terms of his knowledge of law, was feted for his many trailblazing judgments that have earned him a place among world-renowned legal scholars. Read here
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