ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Tribute to J S Verma

J S Verma, who was Chief Justice of India in 1997-98, was an outstanding judge who sought to innovate and create rights and duties, and to anchor these firmly to legal doctrine and constitutional mandate.

Jagdish Sharan Verma (18 January 1933 - 22 April 2013) combined in himself four qualities – an outstanding judge, a leader of the Court, public service even after retirement, and an outspoken voice for values in public life. One comes across one or more of these in other men – to find all four in one is a rarity.

Verma is probably best known now for his most recent work – the report of the Committee he headed to suggest amendments to laws for the protection of women following the Delhi rape case which became a national issue. His panel overhauled the gamut of legislation involving offences against women, widened their scope and mandated several reforms and initiatives. It was not merely these reforms that showed his imprint; it was that he conceived them as womens’ rights, and placed these rights in the cradle of the Constitution, giving them a lineage which would ensure their interpretation to the widest positive amplitude, and act as a spur for their enforcement. This was the classic Verma approach – to innovate and create rights and duties, and to anchor them firmly to legal doctrine and constitutional mandate.

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