Justice Hosbet Suresh, the flag bearer of human rights in India, no more

One of the most respected judges of the Bombay High Court, Justice Hosbet Suresh, who is often known as the flag bearer of the human rights movement in India, passed away late on Thursday night. The former judge died in his Andheri residence and was cremated at Santacruz crematorium early Friday morning.

Justice Suresh, who served as a judge of the Bombay HC and also sessions court for nearly 17 years, was to turn 91 years old in July. The judge is remembered for his landmark judgments, especially the one, wherein he disqualified an MLA for misusing religion and indulging in religious propaganda to seek more votes.

The renowned judge was also known for his work in the field of human rights and also for being on various panels/ commissions that probed the instances of human rights violations.

Justice Suresh had been a member of the commissions probing incidents such as the Cauvery Water Dispute in Bangalore in 1991, the riots in Mumbai after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992-93, harmful effects of prawn farming on the eastern coast after which prawn cultivation was banned by the Supreme Court in 1995.

Apart from these instances of violation of basic human rights, Justice Suresh also probed the tragic incident where Dalits were drowned at the hands of Tamil Nadu Police in 1998 and another incident of 1999 in which tribals were shot to death in Madhya Pradesh's Devas and many more.

Apart from being a judge, Justice Suresh was a professor at Government Law college and the KC college and was later appointed as an assistant government pleader in the HC before being sworn in as an additional judge of the city sessions court in November 1968. He, however, refused to take up an extension and resigned from the service to kick start his private practice at the HC in 1980.

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