Kolkata, Feb 20: Former Chief Justice of India, Altamas Kabir, passed away in Kolkata on Sunday afternoon. He was 68 years old and suffered from kidney ailments.
“He was taken to Apollo Gleneagles Hospital in the city a week ago, where he died yesterday while receiving treatment for renal failure,” said a statement issued by the hospital.
Kabir was also suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease and urinary TB. He was the nephew of a well-known Bengali writer and minister in the Union Cabinet of Nehru and Shastri, Humayun Kabir.
Altamas Kabir also served as the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court in from March to September 2005 before being elevated to the Supreme Court. He later served as the head of the apex court as the 39th Chief Justice of India, before retiring only nine months later.
President of India, Pranab Mukherjee condoled the passing away of Justice Kabir, saying the nation has lost a distinguished public figure in the form of Kabir. In a message to his wife, President said, “I am sad to learn of the passing away of your husband and Chief Justice of India Shri Altamas Kabir.”
“Please accept my heartfelt condolences and convey them to the members of your family. I pray to the Almighty to give you and your family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss,” Mukherjee said.
During his tenure as a Supreme Court judge, Justice Kabir delivered several important judgments, particularly relating to human rights and election laws. One of the most important cases he presided over was that of Sandhya Manoj Wankhede of Amravati district in 2011.
He also presided over the contempt case against prominent advocate and (the now disbanded) “Team Anna” member Prashant Bhushan after he alleged that half out of the last 16 CJIs had been corrupt.
West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee expressed her condolences over the death of the judge in her tweet.
Kabir is survived by his wife, Meena Kabir, a daughter and a son.