Retired Supreme Court (SC) Justice P B Sawant passed away in Pune on Monday morning. He was 91.
“He passed away at his residence at 9.30 am today due to age related issues. He was 91 and had not been keeping well from more than the last one month. His death has caused an irreparable damage to legal and social fraternity. He is survived by his wife and three children and their families,” said former Judge of Bombay High Court, BG Kolse Patil, who has had a long association with Justice Sawant.
According to the Supreme Court website, Sawant was born on June 30, 1930. He practised as an advocate in the Bombay High Court (HC) and Supreme Court of India since 1957 in all branches of law—Civil, Criminal, Industrial, Service Election, Constitutional and Co-operative on Original and Appellate side.
He was appointed as judge of the Bombay High Court in 1973. As a judge he conducted an inquiry into the Air-India aircraft crash in June, 1982. As an advocate, he was office bearer and legal adviser of several Trade Unions and Social and Educational Institutions.
He was the governor’s nominee for the Selection of Vice-Chancellor of Shivaji University 1986, governor’s nominee on the Staff Selection Committee of the Bombay University 1986-87 and governor’s nominee on the Senate of the Pune University, 1987.
He got elevated to the Supreme Court bench with effect from 6th October, 1989. He retired on June 6, 1995, and was active in various public matters since then.
He was among the members of a tribunal headed by justice V R Krishna Iyer to investigate the 2002 Gujarat riots. He also chaired the commission constituted on September 1, 2003 to investigate the corruption charges against four ministers in the government of Maharashtra.
He claimed to be the president of the controversial Elgaar Parishad held at the Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017, ahead of the 200th commemoration of the battle of Koregaon Bhima. He did not attend the Elgaar Parishad due to medical reasons. But following the police crackdown on Elgaar Parishad for its alleged links with the banned CPI-Maoist, Sawant had come out in support of the accused persons arrested in this case.