Noted Gandhian thinker and former acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, died in the wee hours of Thursday. He was 91. Justice Dharmadhikari was unwell and was admitted to a private hospital two days ago, but suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday night. Sources said he breathed his last at 1 am Thursday.
His last rites were performed at Ambazari crematorium on Thursday with many Gandhians in attendance from across the state. He is survived by daughter, Dr Aruna Patil, and two sons, Bombay HC judge Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and senior lawyer Ashutosh Dharmadhikari.
Born on November, 20, 1927, Justice Dharmadhikari started practising at the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court in 1958 and at the Supreme Court in 1959. He was appointed the additional judge of the Bombay HC in 1972 and retired as the acting Chief Justice in 1989.
The former acting justice was one of the prominent contributors to the Anti-Superstition Bill passed by the Maharashtra Legislature and also provided tips to the government on issues such as women’s safety.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis condoled his death, saying, “With his sad demise, we have lost a man of principles and a guide of the new generation. He had ably carried forward the legacy of his father, late Gandhian stalwart Dada Dharmadhikari. He had also participated in the freedom struggle and many of his judgments have provided direction on numerous subjects.”
Justice Dharmadhikari was a committed Gandhian who inspired a generation of youngsters with speeches on Gandhian philosophy as well as several contemporary social issues. He was associated with several Gandhian institutions as their head or member, including Gandhi Vichar Parishad, Sarvoday Ashram and Pavnar Ashram of Acharya Vinoba Bhave.
He was instrumental in installing the Mahatma’s statues in Singapore and Japan and has written many books, including Reflections on Indian Constitution, Shodh Gandhincha, Manjil Durach Rahili and Kalachi Paule.