Honourable Shri. Prabodh Dinkarrao Desaisucceeded Justice Chittatosh Mookerjee as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court on 7th January 1991. He was also Chief Justice of several High Courts. From 8 March 1986 until 16 April 1986, he also served as the governor of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
His Lordship received both his elementary and secondary schooling in Bharuch, Gujarat State, where he was born on December 14, 1930. His Lordship enrolled in St. Xavier’s College in Bombay, where he earned an Arts degree with honors in 1950. In 1952, His Lordship graduated with a master’s degree in advanced economics, prosecuted while enrolled in government law school. He acquired law degree from the Law College of Bombay. Degree awarded in 1953.
Mr. Prabodh Desai became a member of the bar on the Bombay High Court’s Appellate Side in 1955, and he continued to practice there till the state of Bombay was split in half in 1960. He thereafter relocated to Ahmedabad. In the academic year 1967–1968, Mr. Desai taught constitutional law at the City Law College in Ahmedabad. On February 19, 1970, his Lordship was appointed as a Gujarat High Court Additional Judge. Justice Judge was appointed as the judge of High Court of Gujarat when he was barely 39. On April 24, 1974, He was elevated to the position of Permanent Judge. On March 15, 1983, his Lordship was appointed acting chief justice of the Gujarat High Court, a position he held till September 23, 1983. On and from December 23, 1983, Justice Desai was appointed Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. On November 14, 1988, His Lordship was appointed Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court. From March 7 to April 16, 1985, he also served as Himachal Pradesh’s acting governor. On January 7, 1991, Justice Desai was promoted and became Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. His Lordship has rendered numerous significant rulings in a variety of legal areas, including constitutional law, tax and company law, labor law, auto accident compensation law, and civil law, among others. His Lordship had contributed significantly to public interest litigation. On January 17, 1989, the Indian government appointed Mr. Desai to serve on the Arrears Committee.
Justice Prabodh Dinkarrao Desai in his judicial pronouncement demonstrated his legal expertise, intellectual prowess, and in-depth knowledge of human nature. In order to provide swift and thorough justice to the many plaintiffs waiting for justice, His Lordship implemented the novel Pretrial, In-trial, and Post-trial Conciliation Scheme in the Himachal Pradesh Subordinate Courts. On December 14th, 1992, Mr. Desai stepped down as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud recalls Justice Desai as someone who kept with the traditions of the Bombay High Court, a court with a post-independence history of redressing injustices and sufferings. According to Justice Chandrachud, Chief Justice PD Desai was a deserving successor, he strengthened the institutional position of the High Court and the judiciary of the nation. Justice Desai also shaped Justice Chandrachud’s career. His Lordship passed away on 17 May 2004.
Some Judgements by Prabodh Dinkarrao Desai-
In “Mahammadmiya Kalumiya vs Majidkhan Dildarkhan And Anr” The initial complainant is the petitioner. In the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, in Surat, he had brought a civil complaint for violations of Sections 497 and 498 of the Indian Penal Code against opponent No. 1 Original Accused. The accusation was that the accused, knowing that Kherunnissa was the complainant’s legally married wife, lured her away with the intention that she might engage in illicit sexual activity with him, concealed or detained her with that intention, and engaged in sexual activity with her without the complainant’s consent. After the trial, the learned Magistrate found the defendant guilty of the offence under Section 498 of the Indian Penal Code. The accused filed an appeal with the Sessions Court in Surat against that conviction and punishment. The learned Sessions Judge, who disagreed with the trial court, permitted the appeal and cleared the accused of the violation of Section 498 of the Indian Penal Code. The original complainant filed a rebuttal against this acquittal. The session court allowed the appeal and acquitted the accused of the offence under Section 498, Indian Penal Code. The complainant went in revision to the High Court and it was held that the revisional application was not competent
“Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration” is one of the landmark cases which stands for securing fundamental rights of the prisoners. In this case, the petitioner, a death row inmate, wrote a letter to one of the court’s judges protesting about the abuse prisoners are subjected to from both the police and other prisoners. The letter expressed worries about the detainees’ welfare and the use of violence against them. The letter was later transformed into a “Writ of Habeas Corpus” proceeding before this Court in accordance with Article 32 of the Constitution. The Court gave notice to the State and the relevant officials as soon as the Judge received the letter. Additionally, “Dr. Y. S. Chaitale and Sri Mukul Mudgai” were named as amicus curiae. They had permission to go to the prison, meet the inmate, view the pertinent paperwork, and speak with the required witnesses in order to help the court develop its judgement. The findings were that grave human rights violations have been happening, one the inmates ‘Prem Chand’ had to suffer continuous bleeding and pain because of the rod inserted inside him. The grave torture was mainly done by officer ‘Maggar Singh’ who would even ask for money form relatives of the prisoners. The Court has the authority to intervene and release the inmates whose fundamental rights have been violated under Articles 32 and 226. As a result, the Court upholds the idea that the Court’s writ power should be used to intervene when a prisoner’s rights—whether those rights are protected by the Constitution or another law—are being violated. Even though the Superintendent may not have been a direct party, the Apex Court ruled that Prem Chand, the prisoner, had been tortured unlawfully and that he cannot relieve himself of culpability. The Honorable Judges also expressed concern for reforming prisoner conditions and putting in place the required measures to give inmates access to facilities where they can file complaints and grievances over violations of their fundamental rights. As a result, the petition was approved, allowing for the issuance of the writ and the compliance with all orders issued by the Supreme Court.
- CHIEF JUSTICE MR. PRABODH DINKARRAO DESAI, High Court of Bombay, https://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/cjshow.php?bhcpar=amdldGlkPTI1JnBhZ2Vubz0y
- THE HUES THAT ARE INDIA: FROM PLURALITY TO PLURALISM, DR DHANANJAYA Y CHANDRACHUD, JUSTICE PD DESAI MEMORIAL LECTURE 2020 https://hindi.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/pdf_upload-370333.pdf
- Mahammadmiya Kalumiya vs Majidkhan Dildarkhan And Anr. 1972 CriLJ 1409
- Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration 1978 AIR 1675, 1979 SCR (1) 392
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