Who was Shanti Bhushan? Former Law Minister, Senior Advocate passes away at 97

During his political career, Shanti Bhushan was a Rajya Sabha MP and Congress and Janata Party member. He spent six years with the BJP.


DNA Web Team

Updated: Jan 31, 2023, 09:35 PM IST

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Former Law Minister and Senior Advocate Shanti Bhushan died away on Tuesday at the age of 97. In a lawsuit brought before the Allahabad High Court by Raj Narain, in which Shanti Bhushan represented Narain, the then-prime minister Indira Gandhi was deposed.

Having lost the Rae Bareilly Lok Sabha seat to Indira Gandhi, Raj Narain, leader of Ram Manohar Lohia's SSP, filed a petition to annul her election, charging illegal electoral procedures. The case was represented by Shanti Bhushan.

After that, in the Morarji Desai administration (from 1977 to 1979), he was the minister of law. Prashant Bhushan, his son, is a prominent lawyer and activist.

Who was Shanti Bhushan?
For many years, Bhushan was an involved member of both the Congress and the Janata parties. From 14 July 1977 till 2 April 1980, he served as Union Law Minister in the cabinet of Morarji Desai. During that time, he was also a member of the Rajya Sabha.

His role as India's Minister of Law saw him propose the country's Forty-fourth Constitutional Amendment, which nullified certain parts of the previous government's Forty-second Amendment.

Shanti Bhushan started the well-known non-governmental organisation (NGO) Centre for Public Interest Litigation back in 1980; the group has since filed numerous significant PILs with the Supreme Court. Together with his lawyer-activist son, Prashant Bhushan, he launched the "Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Judicial Reform" (CJAR).

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Shanti Bhushan signed up with the BJP in 1980. In 1986, he quit the BJP because the party wouldn't listen to his advice on an election petition. In the wake of the Aam Aadmi Party's formal formation on November 26, 2012, he became one of the organisation's first members. In 2018, he petitioned the Supreme Court for an alteration to the "master of roster" system, but his request was denied.

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